Today U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) spoke on the Senate floor about Austin Tice, a Marine veteran and journalist from Houston who was kidnapped in Syria six years ago, and met with his parents, Marc and Debra Tice. Sen. Cornyn has been advocating for Tice’s release and working with the Trump Administration on the case. Additionally, he has introduced legislation to create an Interagency Hostage Recovery Coordinator position to secure the release of hostages held by terrorist groups.

 

Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s floor remarks are below, along with a photo from his meeting with the Tice family. Video can be found here.

 

“The entire nation stands behind the Tice family. In solidarity with them, we call for Austin’s immediate release by his captors and urge the administration to use all possible means to secure Austin’s safe return home. I’m thankful to the Trump Administration, as I am to the Obama Administration, and I have met with them both about Austin’s case.”

 

“In many parts of the world, authoritarian regimes and criminal non-state actors see a free press as a threat, an existential threat. They don’t want to risk a spotlight exposing human rights abuses, lives, corruption, and graft. They want to inoculate themselves from the criticism and bury the truth so it never sees the light of day.”

 

“We need to be aware of this and constantly vigilant to do our part to ensure journalists’ safety and the flourishing of a free press everywhere it can possibly exist. So to Austin’s parents, I pledge I will never give up until we find your son and bring him home safely.”