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Monday, April 15, 2024
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Rep. Cuellar & Sen. Cruz Celebrate Permitting Reform for Border Bridges 

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Congressman Henry Cuellar, Ph.D. (TX-28) and Senator Ted Cruz (TX) celebrated the passage of their proposal to reform the Presidential permitting process for border bridges, including the World Trade Bridge expansion project in Laredo. Courtesy Image
Congressman Henry Cuellar, Ph.D. (TX-28) and Senator Ted Cruz (TX) celebrated the passage of their proposal to reform the Presidential permitting process for border bridges, including the World Trade Bridge expansion project in Laredo. Courtesy Image
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LAREDO, Texas – Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar, Ph.D. (TX-28) and Senator Ted Cruz (TX) celebrated the passage of their proposal to reform the Presidential permitting process for border bridges, including the World Trade Bridge expansion project in Laredo. President Biden recently signed the proposal into law in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year (FY) 2024. 

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Presidential permits are required for construction projects at border crossings. Obtaining a permit requires an environmental review, often taking years to complete. Language secured by Dr. Cuellar and Senator Cruz would direct the President to issue conditional permits for projects while environmental reviews required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are ongoing.

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Dr. Cuellar has long been working to streamline the Presidential permitting process for cross-border bridges. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Dr. Cuellar secured language to reform the Presidential permit process for cross-border bridges in the Fiscal Year 2024 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs House appropriations bill, which would expedite the World Trade Bridge expansion project in Laredo. Laredo is the nation’s largest port of entry, with 7.6 million total vehicle crossings in FY23. The city’s World Trade Bridge has experienced significant increases in commercial traffic since opening in 2000 and saw 2.5 million northbound commercial crossings in FY23. The proposed World Trade Bridge expansion project will add ten lanes to the World Trade Bridge, bringing the total to 18 lanes and enabling more trade with Mexico.

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