MCALLEN, Texas – The City of McAllen has thanked U.S. Rep. Monica De La Cruz for her assistance bringing federal funds to McAllen International Airport, even though the congresswoman was not in office when Congress passed the infrastructure legislation.
In a news release, McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez praised De La Cruz, a Republican from McAllen, but not the two local members of Congress who actually voted for the relevant legislation.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was passed in late 2021. De La Cruz railed against the infrastructure bill during her congressional campaign and criticized fellow Republicans who supported the legislation.
The City of McAllen news release stated: “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it granted $5 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide grants for airport terminal development projects for improvements aimed at addressing the aging infrastructure of the nation’s airports. These grants will fund safe, sustainable, and accessible airport terminals, on-airport rail access projects, and airport-owned airport traffic control towers. Additional projects include multimodal development.”
The news release said FAA awarded McAllen International Airport $1.98 million for HVAC and lighting improvement.
“The federal funding, we received today will assist the airport in completing important capital improvement projects. Thank you to Representative de la Cruz for her assistance in securing these federal funds and for her support of McAllen International Airport. We look forward to a strong working relationship with Congresswoman de la Cruz and her team as we work together on key airport infrastructure funding requests,” Rodriguez said.
There was no mention of the roles Cuellar or Gonzalez played.
McAllen’s director of aviation, Elizabeth Suarez, was also quoted in the news release.
“McAllen International Airport is committed to the continuous improvement of infrastructure and equipment. The funded HVAC and lighting system improvements will make the airport more energy efficient, improve sustainability, and reduce overall operating expenses. We will continue to work diligently to expend grant funds and complete funded projects in a timely manner,” Suarez said.
Rep. De La Cruz issued her own news release on the funding for McAllen International Airport.
“In Congress, I will always work to bring federal dollars home,” De La Cruz said. “This grant for McAllen’s airport makes serious improvements to the airport’s basic infrastructure, which will allow for constituted growth while giving the flying public more comfortable facilities. I was thrilled to provide a letter of support for this impactful grant and will continue work with the airport and community leaders on future funding.”
Rep. Gonzalez marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with his own news release.
“One year ago, Democrats in Congress and President Biden delivered a once in a generation investment in America’s roads, bridges, drainage and internet infrastructure,” Gonzalez said. “South Texas is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and these investments will enable us to keep up with the demands of a growing population. I will continue to work with federal and state officials to advocate for every possible funding source South Texas deserves.”
In his news release, Gonzalez listed the investments coming to South Texas as a result of The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
· $68 million for the Port of Brownsville in Brownsville, TX in United States Army Corps of Engineers new Construction
· $130 million for Gateway Bridge in Brownsville, TX under the major Land Port of Entry Renovation fund
· $25 million for Anzalduas Bridge in McAllen, TX under the INFRA Grant Program
· $3.9 million for the Port of Harlingen in new Port Infrastructure Development Program funds
· $3.2 million for McAllen International Airport under the new Airport Infrastructure Grant
· $2.8 million for Valley International Airport in Harlingen under the new Airport Infrastructure Grant
· $1.5 million for Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport under the new Airport Infrastructure Grant
· $35 million in renovations and updates to the Interstate System
· $10.6 million to the expansion of Veteran’s International Bridge
· $9.6 million to the construction of an Anzalduas Bridge Inspection Station
Jacob Haythorn, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the “only problem” with De La Cruz claiming credit for the federal funds going to McAllen International Airport via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is that she was not in Congress at the time the legislation passed and that she railed it.
Haythorn backed up his claim with these sources:
• In October of 2021, De La Cruz took to twitter calling the bill “Pelosi’s circus… WE THE PEOPLE do not support this bill!”
• When Gonzalez voted in favor of the bill, she said that it “looks like Rep. Vicente Gonzalez has cheated hard working Americans out of their tax payor dollars and spent it on #pork.”
• De La Cruz lambasted the 13 Republicans who voted for the bill, saying that they “were not truly conservative.”
• De La Cruz spread disproven misinformation about the bill.
Haythorn said De La Cruz is “clearly comfortable” in standing with Republican colleagues who “voted no and took the dough.”
“Now that she’s in Congress, Monica De La Cruz is eagerly joining the embarrassing ranks of MAGA GOP hypocrites who happily take credit for historic legislation they opposed,” Haythorn said.
“Texas voters won’t forget how Monica De La Cruz and the Texas GOP have repeatedly worked to block infrastructure investments when vulnerable communities needed support.”
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Typical LYING REPUBLICAN. Announce opposition to a bill then take credit for it’s passage and the benefits it brings to the Valley even though de la Cruz was not in Congress when the bill passed over her strenuous vocal opposition. We need to ensure this liar is kicked to the curb in 2024. The Valley deserves better than someone who represents the interests of the rich at the expense of everyone else.