115th Congress in Review: Cornyn Highlights Achievements for Texas
SENATOR JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “The past two years have been an unmitigated success for the country. We’ve delivered on promises we made. We’ve put money back in the pockets of hardworking families. We enhanced community safety and fought for victims. We’ve modernized infrastructure and supported our men and women in uniform. And I hope we can continue this momentum into the 116th Congress.” (Floor Remarks, 11/14/18) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_YXD2zzZ3E&feature=youtu.be
Accomplishments During the 115th Congress
• TAX REFORM: Reformed America’s tax code for the first time in 31 years, putting more money in the pockets of Texas families and creating more opportunity for them and their children.
• JUDGES: Confirmed President Trump’s judicial nominees at a historic pace – 85 total, including 30 circuit judges, 53 district court judges, and Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. For Texas, the Senate confirmed five Texas District Court judges, three Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judges, and four U.S. attorneys.
• HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF: Passed nearly $147 billion to help fund recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey and other disasters. Authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers storm damage mitigation project from Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay and helped expedite a study on the so-called Coastal Spine.
• CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: Passed Sen. Cornyn’s First Step Act based on successful reforms in Texas to reduce incarceration, recidivism, and crime rates and help low-risk offenders turn their lives around.
• FARM BILL: Passed a five year Farm Bill to provide farmers and ranchers with the certainty and predictability they deserve, including the Texas priorities to strengthen crop insurance, maintain seed cotton eligibility for the Farm Bill safety net, and promote animal health by countering cattle tick fever and Chronic Wasting Disease.
• PREVENTING GUN VIOLENCE AND VIOLENT CRIME: Enacted Fix NICS and STOP School Violence Act to help protect Texans from gun violence and fix the broken background check system. Passed the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act to reduce violent crime by pairing law enforcement officials on the federal, state, and local levels with federal prosecutors.
• OBAMACARE RELIEF: Repealed the individual mandate tax that forced Americans to buy something many didn’t want or couldn’t afford, and ended IPAB.
• VETERANS’ BENEFITS REFORM: Delivered real reform and choice to Texas veterans with the VA MISSION Act, modernized the veterans appeals process, reformed G.I. bill benefits, and further improved VA accountability. Provided the largest funding increase in history for veterans care and services and modernized the VA’s electronic health record system. Also prioritized veterans’ transitions out of the military through two bills to help them secure meaningful post-military jobs utilizing their specific skills.
• VICTIMS’ RIGHTS: Passed the Justice Served Act to provide funds to prosecute cold cases solved by DNA evidence, the SAFER Act to help reduce rape kit backlogs in Texas, and the PROTECT Our Children Act to reauthorize task forces combatting child exploitation online.
• SUPPORTING THE TROOPS: Enacted the largest pay raise for U.S. servicemembers in nearly ten years with the passage of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
• REGULATORY REFORM: Used Congressional Review Act (CRA) a record-setting 16 times to roll back Obama-era regulations. Enacted the New HOPE Act to give Texas tools to reduce barriers to certain professions.
• ENERGY: Opened ANWR, one of the largest untapped conventional oilfields in North America, and rolled back the Obama Administration’s so-called Clean Power Plan to help keep energy affordable for Texas families.
• BANKING REFORM: Provided Main Street borrowers and lenders relief from burdensome Dodd-Frank red tape for the first time.
• FIGHTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Enacted the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act to combat human trafficking and the Abolish Human Trafficking Act to strengthen and reauthorize key programs supporting survivors and provide resources to law enforcement officials working to combat modern-day slavery.
• TACKLING SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Combatting the nation’s worst public health crisis with a package of proposals to fight a widespread substance abuse epidemic, including stopping fentanyl at the border and spurring development of new non-addictive painkillers.
Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.