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Sen. Cruz Clears Hurdle in Bipartisan Effort to Get Texas-Mexico Bridges Built

Foreign Relations Committee Unanimously Adopts Cruz Amendment to Expedite Project Reviews

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations adopted U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) amendment to streamline the presidential permitting process for building key bridges across the Rio Grande in Brownsville, Laredo, and Eagle Pass, Texas. The amendment, which was included in a bill authorizing funding for the State Department, secures a critical step in Sen. Cruz’s bicameral, bipartisan effort to see four international bridges that will help create jobs, increase trade, and improve the environment are built. 

The amendment, which received bipartisan support, gives the State Department sixty days to issue a recommendation to the president on whether to provide permits to four international Texas bridge projects. The president would then have sixty days to make a decision. The amendment adheres to the practice used by the prior administration where presidential permits could be issued contingent on successful completion of environmental reviews. 

Sen. Ted Cruz said, “I am proud to have secured an enormous, bipartisan victory for Texas border communities and the Lone Star State’s economy. I will fight to see that this amendment passes Congress and is signed into law so these vital South Texas bridge projects receive expedited review by the administration. Mexico is one of our nation’s most important trading partners, and these bridge projects stand to be an economic boon to the South Texas region. Together, these four bridges will shorten lengthy delays in crossings, help lower the cost of goods for American families, and spur significant job growth. I am thankful to my Senate colleagues, including Chairman Bob Menendez, and the administration for working with me to get these projects moving forward.”

The State Department reauthorization bill is likely to be adopted as part of the annual defense policy bill, or National Defense Authorization Act, which is currently scheduled to be considered by the Senate this month. Sen. Cruz vowed to keep working to see that his amendment is part of the defense bill.


Sen. Cruz’s efforts to streamline the presidential permitting process for cross-border bridges are supported by a bipartisan and diverse group of stakeholders, including:

  • U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas)
  • U.S. Representative Tony Gonzales (R-Texas)
  • U.S. Representative Monica De La Cruz (R-Texas)
  • U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)
  • U.S. Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas)
  • U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Texas Association of Business
  • Laredo Motor Carriers Association
  • Border Trade Alliance

On June 28th, Sen. Cruz led a bipartisan, bicameral delegation letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the Biden administration to resolve delays in providing permits for the aforementioned projects. Joining Sen. Cruz in sending the letter were Sen. John Cornyn, and U.S. Representatives Gonzalez, Cuellar, Tony Gonzales, and Monica De La Cruz. Read the full text of the letter here.