San Angelo can #CountOnCornyn!
In addition to delivering millions in COVID relief, Senator Cornyn has been a supporter of many issues important to the Concho Valley. Below is a snapshot of his record on important issues and efforts that support Texans in San Angelo.
U.S. MILITARY & VETERANS
Senator Cornyn learned the value of patriotism and service to our country from his father, who spent 31 years in the military — including time as a B-17 pilot in World War II. He grew up in an Air Force family, and knows how interwoven San Angelo is with our U.S. military. He is a stalwart supporter of the men and women serving at Goodfellow AFB, and advocated for funding to support the intelligence training center at Goodfellow Air Force Base. These programs are not only good for Texas, but good for America — providing high-paying jobs while producing the tools our military needs to keep our nation safe.
Additionally, Senator Cornyn supported the largest pay increase for U.S. service members in a decade with the passage of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which included an additional $400 million for military construction projects in Texas.
The senator believes in the honor-bound agreement between Americans and our service men and women, and has shepherded thoughtful, impactful programs for veterans into law. The passage of the VA Mission Act streamlined and strengthened VA community care programs and ensured veterans receive efficient, timely and quality care. Senator Cornyn also jointly authored the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act to expand veterans’ access to mental health care services, and introduced and ushered into law the HAVEN Act — which protects the economic security and well-being of veterans and their families who rely on disability benefits and may be experiencing financial hardship.
Last August, Senator Cornyn was in San Angelo to visit with veterans and open a new VA clinic. The new facility is twice as big as the previous clinic and allows the VA to serve even more West Texas veterans.
Texas is the nation’s leading producer of oil and natural gas, and a trailblazer in the area of renewable energy. Our state is the lynchpin toward achieving America’s energy independence and bolsters our national security.
Hundreds of thousands of Texans are employed by the oil & gas industry, which contributes more than $3 billion annually to our education system, veterans programs and more. In the wake of an oil & gas battle between Russia and Saudi Arabia, compounded by the global Coronavirus pandemic, our Texas energy industry is hurting. That’s why Senator Cornyn co-sponsored the SAVE Jobs Act to protect the hundreds of thousands of Texans relying on paychecks from the energy industry so they can put food on the table. Beyond the immediate energy industry, this is also a lifeline for many rural communities whose economy — restaurants, salons, hotels and shops — rely on sales revenue to fund critical infrastructure and services, like schools.
Senator Cornyn also is proud of his record to support alternative and renewable energy initiatives, and believes we must be good stewards of the earth for future generations. He sponsored the LEADING Act, which incentivizes research and development of carbon capture technology. Reducing emissions is critical to stemming climate change, and innovation in environmental technologies like carbon-capture show tremendous promise for our environment.
School choice empowers parents to choose the setting that best fits their child’s unique interests, learning style and educational needs. While education is rightfully managed at the local and state level, our entire country has a stake in ensuring we are raising highly educated, analytical, well-rounded citizens.
Nearly 1,400 students and families in San Angelo are served by charter schools. Designed to be educational laboratories, charter schools have a unique role to play in pushing the envelope and bringing innovative teaching strategies into the classroom. Charter schools are public schools, and should be held to the same level of achievement accountability and fiduciary responsibility as ISDs.
Senator Cornyn is a strong proponent of school choice, which benefits low-income families especially. In the last year, he introduced a bipartisan bill called the GEAR UP for Success Act to help low-income and historically underrepresented students achieve college and career readiness, improve high school graduation rates, and raise awareness of postsecondary options among students and families.
A child should never be mandated to attend a failing or low-performing school because of their zip code. School choice is a resource to aid in breaking generational cycles of poverty, and yields positive competition that raises the tide for all schools.
Farming and ranching are sewn into the fabric of Texas history and agriculture remains a driver of the Texas economy. One-in-seven jobs in Texas are related to the agriculture industry. That’s why Senator Cornyn supported passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and strongly supports a repeal of the Death Tax, ensuring family farms continue to thrive and ensure America’s food independence.
During his time in office, he’s led several initiatives that:
- Reduce overreaching regulatory and tax burdens for Texas farmers and ranchers
- Secure assistance to mitigate, respond and recover when disasters strike
- Ensure farmers and ranchers can compete in a global market
- Increase access to water for rural Texas agriculture
Senator Cornyn has been a leader in fighting to secure water for rural Texans. In particular, he worked to ensure Mexico meets its obligations as set forth in the 1944 bi-national Water Management Treaty to release one-third of the water from its Rio Grande tributaries and reservoirs to the United States for agricultural and municipal use. And when crises occur, such as severe drought, Texas ag providers know they can count on Senator Cornyn to work to deliver disaster assistance.
Earlier this year, Senator Cornyn supported the passage of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA) — an economic boon for Texas. The new agreement will provide greater access to global markets for Texas agriculture businesses and fortifies Texas’ ability to export oil & gas. In fact, in 2018, Texas exported more than $10.8 billion in oil & gas and $22.8 billion in petroleum and coal products to Canada and Mexico.
A physical barrier is one part of securing our border, but it is not the whole story. We must use all the tools in our toolbox, which also includes boots-on-the-ground and surveillance technology. Any physical borders must also take into consideration cross-border trade, wildlife preserves, and landowner rights.
Last month, the senator co-sponsored the Southwest Border Security Technology Improvement Act, which would analyze technological needs and gaps along the southwest border. Filling such gaps could improve national security by curbing trafficking, smuggling and other cross-border criminal activity.
Senator Cornyn also sponsored the Building America’s Trust Act, which increases the number of federal agents at ports of entry and on the border. The bill also adds more immigration judges and prosecutors, and would pour more resources into state and local efforts to fight drug trafficking.
This legislation was endorsed by the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition, National Association of Police Organizations, National Sheriffs’ Association, and the National Border Patrol Council. It was also lauded as a “Texas-friendly” approach to border security and the McAllen Monitor said: “Cornyn has a respected understanding of our Valley and the economics of our region, which relies on cross-border trade and eco-tourism.”
Without question, Texans who call the Concho Valley home know that they can #CountOnCornyn!