Southwest Border Regional Commission to Address Economic Challenges in Texas Border Communities with New Federal Funding

Press Release

Date: March 17, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) secured $2,500,000 in federal funding for the Southwest Border Regional Commission (SBRC), the second time since its authorization in 2008. The funding will support the commission's activities related to building economic stability across the southwest as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SBRC was created to address economic distress in the southern border regions of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. While the fully authorized amount for the SBRC is $33,000,000, the amount provided in this year's Appropriations bill will be used to appoint a federal co-chair in order to establish key partnerships with local communities, including a focus on underserved colonias totaling 2.5 million residents.

This funding is in addition to the $1.25 million secured in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

"The Southwest Border Regional Commission was created to address the economic challenges faced by communities along the border," said Congressman Cuellar. "That's why I worked hard to secure this funding for the Commission so we can build critical infrastructure, expand our workforce, and strengthen our communities. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I am committed to funding programs that encourage economic opportunity and community development on our southern border."

The Southwest Border Regional Commission is one of seven authorized federal regional commissions and authorities, which are congressionally-chartered, federal-state partnerships created to provide economic development in their respective areas. The commission was authorized in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-234). Once fully funded, the SBRC would provide grants for broadband, infrastructure projects, workforce development, small businesses and other needed community development projects.

According to a report, if the forty-three counties along the Texas border became the 51st state, it would rank 1st in poverty and unemployment, with a per capita income at $15,570, which is below the poverty line for a household of four. This state would also rank 1st in Spanish spoken at home, 16th largest state in the country, 3rd largest with a foreign born population, 3rd largest with a female head of household, 5th largest with civilian population in military duty.

By law, the Commission would work for a total of 93 counties on the southwest border - Arizona (10 counties), California (7), New Mexico (11), and Texas (65). To see a map of the Southwest Border Regional Commission, click here.