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.

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.

 

Awarded: U.S. Senate Seed Cotton Champion Award by the Plains Cotton Growers

 

Floor Speeches and Videos

  • Senator Cornyn supported and advocated for equitable trade assistance from USDA for all producers negatively affected by retaliatory tariffs on Texas agricultural exports.
  • Senator Cornyn supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates will help family farms of all sizes pay less taxes.
  • During the negotiation of the updated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Sen. Cornyn actively pushed to modernize and improve the terms to benefit Texas producers and consumers.
  • Sen. 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. Sen Cornyn helped to double the exemption for the Death Tax to $11 million in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2018.  
  • 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 pushed back on unnecessary EPA regulations that affect production and agriculture through the Clean Air and Water Act, including support of a joint resolution of disapproval to eliminate the EPA Waters of the U.S. rule.
  • 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.
  • Sen. Cornyn authored language, now law, to authorize an animal disease and disaster response program and a foot and mouth disease vaccine bank to adequately address risks to animal health.
  • Sen. Cornyn continues to confront invasive species and animal diseases that pose existential threats to Texas farmers, ranchers, and producers such as Chronic Wasting Disease, Cattle Fever Tick, and Feral Hogs by supporting assistance and research for eradication and prevention.
  • Sen. Cornyn championed the making Seedcotton a part of the farm safety net through its inclusion in the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • Sen. Cornyn voted to strengthen and protect the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) programs to help provide Texas agricultural producers with stability through unpredictable weather and natural disasters.
  • Sen. Cornyn supported the strengthening of crop insurance programs and other risk management tools for Texas farmers and ranchers through the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • Sen. Cornyn voted to make wildfire damage to fencing eligible for reimbursement under the Emergency Conservation Program.
  • Sen. 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 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, and pushed to reduce barriers for Texas farmers, ranchers, and small businesses to sell their goods and services in new markets around the world by supporting Trade Promotion Authority and multiple free trade agreements.

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