A Vital Texas Industry

Agriculture is vital to the Texas economy; one in seven jobs in our state is related to the agriculture industry.  We must ensure that the United States continues to enjoy the safest and most abundant food supply in the world.

Senator John Cornyn

Texas is the leading farming and ranching state, and one in seven jobs in Texas are related to the agriculture industry. Farming and ranching are sewn into the fabric of Texas history and agriculture remains a driver of the Texas economy, and Sen. Cornyn is committed to ensuring Texas agricultural producers have a voice in the Senate.

  • Senator Cornyn continues to support permanent repeal of the Death Tax, which penalizes farming and ranching families.  He understands that agriculture is a capital-intensive business and that due to increasing land values and equipment costs, the next generation is often forced to sell all or part of the farm or ranch to pay the Death Tax bill.
  • Senator Cornyn has been a leader in fighting to secure water for rural Texans. Under the terms of the 1944 bi-national Water Management Treaty, Mexico is required to release one-third of the water from its Rio Grande tributaries and reservoirs to the United States for agricultural and municipal use. Over the last several years Mexico has failed to meet the allocation requirements of the Treaty and Sen. Cornyn has taken multiple actions to address the issue including:
    • Sending letters to Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson at the U.S. State Department and International Boundary and Water Commissioner Edward Drusina seeking assistance in ensuring Mexico fulfills its obligation under the treaty to provide water for drought-stricken areas in South Texas and across the state.
    • Holding meetings with Mexico Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora and Texas stakeholders to address grievances and chart a path forward together.
    • Filing amendments and introducing legislation with fellow Texas members to address the current water deficit including a provision he secured in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY2016 that reinforces Mexico’s Treaty obligations to the United States and requires the State Department and the International Boundary Water Commission (IBWC) to assess the impact Mexico’s water debt has on U.S. interests and Texans. This became law on December 18, 2015.
  • Senator Cornyn has fought for answers from the Obama Administration on OHSA regulations affecting small farms, as well as onerous FDA rules on the Food Safety Modernization Act, which impacts the entire supply chain from producers to consumers.  He has also pushed back on EPA regulations that affect production and agriculture through the Clean Air and Water Act.
  • Senator Cornyn continues to work on fiscally responsible ways to provide disaster assistance for those Texans facing unprecedented drought conditions. This poses challenges to production, agriculture, and local economies and has forced many cities and towns to adopt drought restrictions.
  • Senator Cornyn voted to repeal mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) regulations for beef and pork as a part of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY2016.
  • Sen. Cornyn voted to restore the federal crop insurance program in light of proposed reductions in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015.  As a member of the conference committee for the final Highway Bill, he worked to successfully reverse these cuts.  This bill passed and was signed into law on December 4, 2015.
  • Sen. Cornyn has continued to push back on unnecessary EPA regulations that hurt our farmers and ranchers.  Most recently, he voted to advance a joint resolution of disapproval to eliminate the EPA Waters of the U.S. rule.
  • As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness, Sen. Cornyn has taken an active role in expanding U.S. exports of food and fiber.  In 2015, he voted for legislation that supports advancing free trade agreements that would allow Texas farmers and ranchers to sell more of the products they grow and raise in markets around the world.

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