In 2008, Texans overwhelmingly re-elected Senator John Cornyn to represent them for a second six-year term in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Cornyn was first elected to the Senate in 2002 and previously served in Texas as a district judge, a member of the Texas Supreme Court, and as Texas Attorney General.
During his first term in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Cornyn distinguished himself as a leader in the Senate on a variety of issues important to Texans and has earned a national reputation as an articulate and powerful voice for conservative values in Washington. Sen. Cornyn is committed to bolstering our national defense, repairing our broken immigration system and securing our borders, boosting access to more affordable health care, improving educational opportunities for all Texans, strengthening the economy and expanding job opportunities, keeping taxes low, and reducing spending. He has been a tireless advocate for Texas military personnel, veterans and their families, and believes we must ensure that we provide them the best possible support, care and benefits.
Throughout his career in public service, Sen. Cornyn has been a champion of open government. In 2007, years of hard work yielded the OPEN Government Act, our nation's most sweeping reform of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in a decade. The legislation expanded transparency by closing loopholes in the FOIA, helping requestors obtain timely responses and ensuring agencies have strong incentives to act on requests.
Sen. Cornyn served as a member of the Deputy Whip team after just one year in office, and has been a member of the Republican Senate leadership since 2006. He has served as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and was chosen by his colleagues to serve as the Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. In 2012, Senate Republicans elected him to serve as Minority Whip for the 113th Congress.
While in the Senate, Sen. Cornyn has received various awards and recognitions, including the 2005 Border Texan of the Year Award; the National Child Support Enforcement Association's Children's Champion Award; the American Farm Bureau Federation's Friend of Farm Bureau Award; the Texas Association of Business's (TAB) Fighter for Free Enterprise Award; the National Federation of Independent Business's (NFIB) Guardian of Small Business Award; the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leader's (CONLAMIC) Latino Leadership Award; the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce's (TAMACC) International Leadership Legislative Award; the Children at Risk Founders Award; and the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) Crime Fighter Award, among others.
Sen. Cornyn currently sits on the Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee's Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee.
In addition to his legislative committees, Sen. Cornyn is the chairman of the Senate India Caucus, chairman of the Senate RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Caucus, and Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference Task Force on Hispanic Affairs. He is also a member of the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force, Aerospace Caucus, Air Force Caucus, Army Caucus, Community College Caucus, Hispanic-Serving Institution Caucus, International Narcotics Control Caucus, National Guard Caucus, Natural Gas Caucus, Recycling Caucus, Reserve Caucus, Sportsman's Caucus, Taiwan Caucus, USO Caucus, the Congressional Oversight Group on Trade, and the President's Export Council.
Sen. Cornyn was born in Houston on February 2, 1952, and was raised in San Antonio. He is the son of John and Gale Cornyn, both native Texans. His father, a B-17 pilot in World War II, served for 31 years in the U.S. Air Force and, later, taught at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. A graduate of Trinity University and St. Mary's School of Law, both in San Antonio, Sen. Cornyn also earned a Masters of Law from the University of Virginia Law School in 1995. He was named the St. Mary's Distinguished Law School Graduate in 1994 and a Trinity University Distinguished Alumnus in 2001.