Austin, TX — For 18 years, Senator John Cornyn has been putting his own political career and DC special interests ahead of Texans. Cornyn’s failed leadership has been especially disastrous for Texans living in the Rio Grande Valley.
From health care to coronavirus relief to immigration to trade, Cornyn’s policies have consistently hurt Texans in the Rio Grande Valley.
- Cornyn was the “top salesman” for the failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, despite the fact that the ACA has disproportionately helped Latino Texans gain access to health care and reduced the difference between Latino and white uninsured Americans by 9.4 percent.
- Cornyn staunchly opposes Medicaid expansion in Texas, voting repeatedly to gut, repeal, and attack it. Expanding Medicaid would significantly reduce the rate of uninsured Latino Texans, extending health care coverage to over 1 million Latinos in Texas while delivering sorely-needed funding to the Valley, helping both the health care infrastructure and the region’s economy.
- Cornyn mishandled the coronavirus crisis from the beginning, downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19, undermining public health experts, and spreading disinformation. The Rio Grande Valley and Latino Texans have borne the brunt of Cornyn’s failed coronavirus response, making up a disproportionately high share of the state’s COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations.
- Cornyn continues to oppose vital $600 UI checks to out-of-work Texans, calling them a “mistake” and vowing they will not be reinstated, then allowing them to expire on July 25. Latinos have been disproportionately hurt by the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, with Latino unemployment spiking as a result of the virus.
- Cornyn failed to deliver desperately-needed COVID-19 relief, even as the coronavirus continues to “devastate” the Rio Grande Valley.
- Cornyn has been opposed to immigration reform for over a decade, inserting a poison pill amendment to a bipartisan bill in 2006, “vigorously opposed” bipartisan legislation in 2007, and was “excluded” from bipartisan talks in 2013 over fears he would stifle any efforts to negotiate.
- Cornyn supported the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that led to families being separated at the southern border and “argued that the policy might serve as a deterrent to illegal immigration.”
- Cornyn has consistently opposed DACA and undermined protections for DREAMers, voting against advancing the DREAM Act in 2007 and 2010, and tying the future of DACA recipients to border wall funding and to a “right-wing Christmas list of anti-immigrant provisions” in exchange for protections for 124,000 Texans.
- Cornyn supported — and twice voted for — the Trump administration’s “emergency declaration” that diverted funds meant to help military families to the construction of Trump’s useless border wall that will trample on the property rights of Texas ranchers in the Valley if constructed.
- Cornyn was highly critical of the USMCA during the legislative process. Cornyn said that he was “personally satisfied” with NAFTA and was “somewhat skeptical” of the USMCA.
- Cornyn criticized changes to the USMCA that would raise wages in Mexico to be competitive with wages in Texas and “suddenly lost [his] enthusiasm” for the USMCA because it included bipartisan compromises.
Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Manny Garcia issued the following statement:
“John Cornyn has spent 18 years pursuing an agenda that caters to DC special interests and corporate PAC donors at the expense of Texans living in the Rio Grande Valley. Now he is doing what all vulnerable DC politicians do: showing up during election year to try and pretend that he actually gives a damn.
“Texans, and especially Latinos living in the Valley, know the real John Cornyn. They will hold Cornyn accountable for his failed leadership, abysmal handling of the coronavirus crisis, and decades spent trying to restrict Latino Texans’ access to health care.”