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Difference between revisions of "John Cornyn"

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|Expenditures 2 = 521702.95
|Expenditures 2 = 521702.95
|Cash on Hand 2 = 5986993.95
|Cash on Hand 2 = 5986993.95
|Report 3 = October Quarterly<ref>[ ''Federal Election Commission'' "John Cornyn October Quarterly," Accessed October 28, 2013]</ref>
|Date 3 = October 15, 2013
|Beginning Balance 3 = 5986993.95
|Total Contributions 3 = 1796856.20
|Expenditures 3 = 870075.51
|Cash on Hand 3 = 6913774.64

Revision as of 13:30, 28 October 2013

John Cornyn
John Cornyn.jpg
U.S. Senate, Texas
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 12
PredecessorPhil Gramm (R)
Senate Minority Whip
January 3, 2013 - Present
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedDecember 2, 2002
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$29,108,909
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Texas state attorney general
Texas supreme court
Bexar County district court judge
Bachelor'sTrinity University
J.D.St. Mary’s School of Law
OtherLL.M., University of Virginia
Date of birthFebruary 2, 1952
Place of birthHouston, Texas
Net worth$423,510
Office website
Campaign website
John Cornyn (b. February 2, 1952, in Houston, Texas) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate. Cornyn was first elected to the Senate in 2002. He is the current Senate Minority Whip.

Cornyn most recently won re-election in 2008. He defeated Richard Noriega (D) and Yvonne Adams Schick (L) in the general election.

Cornyn served as a Bexar County district court judge from 1984 to 1990. He went on to serve on the Texas Supreme Court from 1990 to 1997. Cornyn then served as Texas Attorney General from 1999 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2002.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Cornyn is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.

Cornyn is seeking re-election in 2014.


After earning his J.D. from St. Mary’s School of Law, Cornyn became an attorney. He went on to become district court judge for Bexar County, TX, and then Texas Supreme Court justice, before running for the U.S. Senate.[1]


  • 1984-1990: Bexar County district court judge
  • 1990-1997: Texas supreme court
  • 1999-2002: Texas state attorney general
  • 2002-present: U.S. Senate

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Cornyn serves on the following Senate committees:[2]

  • Committee on Finance
    • The Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight
    • The Subcommittee on Healthcare
  • Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security Ranking Member
    • Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law
    • Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights


Cornyn was a member of the following Senate committees:[3]

  • Armed Services Committee
  • Committee on Finance
    • Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure
    • Subcommittee on Health Care
    • Subcommittee on Taxation, IRS Oversight, and Long-Term Growth
  • Committee on the Budget
  • Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
    • Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security Ranking Member
    • Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security
    • Subcommittee on the Constitution


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[4] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Cornyn's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[5]

National security

American response in Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

Cornyn expressed skepticism at the idea of intervention in Syria, but would not rule it out entirely—provided he had a chance to vote on it.[6] He took took to Twitter on August 31, 2013, to urge President Obama to bring the question of a strike on Syria to Congress before he authorizes any military action.[6]

Cornyn sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pushing him to be hard on biological weapons in his negotiations with Russia, not just chemical weapons. Cornyn wrote, "Any credible agreement must force the surrender of both Assad’s bioweapons and chemical weapons, and it must achieve their destruction in a way that is workable, effective, timely, and verifiable. I ask for your best efforts to ensure that these important criteria are satisfied." Cornyn was one of three senators to vote against Kerry's confirmation in January.[7]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "No" Cornyn voted against the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[8]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists were critical of President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[9][10][11]

Cornyn was one of the 13 Republican senators who joined Paul in his filibuster.[12][13]

According to the website Breitbart, 30 Republican senators did not support the filibuster.[14][15]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[16]


Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013#Government Shutdown and Default Prevention Act

A spokesperson for Cornyn said that he "will not be paid during the federal shutdown. He donates to charity and does not believe a government shutdown should necessitate charitable contributions, compassion for fellow man should."[17]

Opposition to Lawrence Summers nomination

Cornyn has declared that he does not want Lawrence Summers to become Federal Reserve chairman after Ben Bernanke's term expires. Cornyn's spokeswoman Megan Mitchell said, "If you look at Larry Summers' record, he has a history of promoting stimulus funding and higher taxes, and that's not in line with Texas values." Summers is seen as one of the top two candidates to replace Bernanke, the other being Janet Yellen.[18]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "No" Cornyn voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspended the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[19]


Completion of fence along Mexico border

Voted "Yes" Cornyn voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[20]


Opposition to Ted Cruz filibuster

Cornyn and Mitch McConnell made it clear that they did not support Ted Cruz's call for a filibuster of the government funding bill that passed the House.[21]

Cornyn spokeswoman Megan Mitchell said, "Senator Cornyn will support the House bill that defunds Obamacare. He will not block a bill that defunds Obamacare."[21]

Cornyn's opposition to Cruz could lead to a potential primary challenge in 2014.[21]

Social Issues

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

Voted "No" Cornyn voted against S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[22]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Cornyn voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[23]

Senate Judiciary Committee

Cornyn was first appointed to Senate Judiciary Committee shortly after he was sworn in in January of 2003.[24].

Cornyn participated in the confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court of the United States for Chief Justice John Roberts in 2005 and Associate Justices Samuel Alito in 2006 and Sonia Sotomayor in 2009.

Judicial activism

Senator Cornyn has been noted as one of the leading advocates in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the issue of Judicial Activism. Cornyn has expressed serious concern on the issue over cases involving gun rights and the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment and the Takings clause in the Constitution involving property rights. Cornyn has also said that judges should not move the law into one direction or the other towards their preferences. This was key in addressing the issue of Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States in 2009. Cornyn voted against the confirmation of Sotomayor, but took the committee to task about the proper role of how judge should rule fairly and impartially. Cornyn is the only member on the committee with appellate level judicial experience.[25]

Cornyn spoke on the issue of judicial activism in front of The Federalist Society during a talk with the Dallas Area Lawyers Chapter on October 14, 2009. During his speech, the Senator criticized the Obama Administration for nominating judges and key legal advisers for embracing judicial activism.[26] Cornyn cited nominations including the one of Harold Koh for embracing activism, including Koh's belief that the American court system should be trans-national.[26]



See also: United States Senate elections in Texas, 2014

Cornyn is seeking re-election in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Texas. The general election takes place on November 4, 2014.

Cornyn hired a campaign manager with ties to fellow senator Ted Cruz, in an attempt to appeal to a broader Republican base in 2014. The goal of this move is to avoid a potential primary challenge in 2014.[27]


Despite a pledge to steer clear of endorsing incumbents, Ted Cruz has financially backed a handful of Senate Republicans, including fellow Texan John Cornyn[28]

Cruz’s leadership political action committee, Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund, made only five donations in the first six months of its existence, and all of those dollars went to incumbents. On May 10, 2013, according to Federal Election Commission records, Cruz wrote a $2,500 check to the campaign of Cornyn.[28]

Cruz also handed out out four other $2,500 donations to incumbents that same day: Jim Inhofe, Mike Lee, Jim Risch and Tim Scott, who was appointed to the Senate after Jim DeMint resigned and is running in 2014 for the remaining years of DeMint’s term.[28]

Tea-party opposition

Texas tea-party activists are hoping to find a primary challenger for Cornyn in his 2014 Senate bid. This comes after Cornyn withdrew his support from Senator Mike Lee's efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act.[29][30]


On November 4, 2008, John Cornyn won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Richard Noriega (D) and Yvonne Adams Schick (L) in the general election.[31]

U.S. Senate, Texas General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Cornyn incumbent 54.8% 4,337,469
     Democratic Richard Noriega 42.8% 3,389,365
     Libertarian Yvonne Adams Schick 2.3% 185,241
Total Votes 7,912,075

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Cornyn is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Cornyn raised a total of $29,108,909 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 25, 2013.[33]

John Cornyn's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 US Senate (Texas) Won $19,326,337
2002 US Senate (Texas) Won $9,782,572
Grand Total Raised $29,108,909


Candidates for Congress are required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Cornyn's reports.[34]

John Cornyn (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[35]April 15, 2013$2,671,655.28$1,854,913.27$(347,519.79)$4,179,048.76
July Quarterly[36]July 15, 2013$4,179,048.76$2,329,648.14$(521,702.95)$5,986,993.95
October Quarterly[37]October 15, 2013$5,986,993.95$1,796,856.20$(870,075.51)$6,913,774.64
Running totals


Top recipients of lobbyist contributions

On a list of Top 10 Recipients of Contributions from Lobbyists in 2013 from Open Secrets, Cornyn ranked 10th on the list with $51,700 in lobbyist contributions.[38]


Breakdown of the source of Cornyn's campaign funds before the 2008 election.

Cornyn won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Cornyn's campaign committee raised a total of $19,326,337 and spent $18,994,698.[39]


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Cornyn is a "rank-and-file Republican" as of June 2013.[40]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[41]

Cornyn most often votes with:

Cornyn least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Cornyn missed 61 of 3,251 roll call votes from January 2003 to March 2013. This amounts to 1.9%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of March 2013.[42]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Cornyn paid his congressional staff a total of $3,342,783 in 2011. He ranked 2nd on the list of the highest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked 6th overall of the highest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Texas ranked 3rd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[43]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Cornyn's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $146,021 to $700,999. That averages to $423,510, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2011 of $6,358,668. His average net worth increased by 7.90% from 2010.[44]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Cornyn's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $153,014 and $631,999. That averages to $392,506.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.[45]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Cornyn ranked 2nd in the conservative rankings among members of the U.S. Senate.[46]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Cornyn ranked 14th in the conservative rankings among U.S. senators.[47]

Voting with party


Cornyn voted with the Republican Party 87.8% of the time, which ranked 27th among the 45 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[48]


Cornyn and his wife, Sandy, have two children.[49]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term John + Cornyn + Texas + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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External links


  1. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "John Cornyn," Accessed November 23, 2011
  2. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  3. Official Senate website "Committee Assignments," Accessed November 23, 2011
  4. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  5. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 Talking Points Memo, "Sen. John Cornyn To Obama: Call Congress For A Vote On Syria," accessed September 2, 2013
  7. Politico, "John Cornyn pushes John Kerry to focus on Syria’s bioweapons," September 13, 2013
  8. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  9. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  10. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  11. ABC News, "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
  12. The Blaze, "Here Are All the GOP Senators That Participated in Rand Paul’s 12+ Hour Filibuster… and the Ones Who Didn’t," March 7, 2013
  13. Los Angeles Times, "Sen. Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster of John Brennan," March 7, 2013
  14. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
  15. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  16. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  17. Washington Post, "Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?," accessed October 2, 2013
  18. Reuters, "U.S. Senate's No. 2 Republican would oppose Summers for Fed chief," September 12, 2013
  19. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  20. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 The Washington Post, "How Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn busted Ted Cruz’s Obamacare bubble," September 24, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  23. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  24. "Senate Judiciary" List of previous members
  25. "Senator John Cornyn" Sen. Cornyn Statement In Advance Of The Judiciary Committee’s Vote On Judge Sotomayor, July 28, 2009
  26. 26.0 26.1 "YouTube" Speech of Senator Cornyn to Dallas Federalist Society, October 14, 2009
  27. Politico, "John Cornyn hires campaign aide with Ted Cruz ties," July 11, 2013
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Washington Post, "Cruz backed Cornyn, other incumbents, despite no-endorsement pledge," accessed August 26, 2013
  29., " Red State calls Cornyn 'a sad joke'," July 29, 2013
  30. National Review Online, "Texas Tea Partiers Gunning For Gohmert to Primary Cornyn," August 7, 2013
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  33. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for John Cornyn," Accessed March 25, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission "John Cornyn Summary Report," Accessed July 22, 2013
  35. 'Federal Election Commission "John Cornyn April Quarterly," Accessed July 22, 2013
  36. 'Federal Election Commission "John Cornyn July Quarterly," Accessed July 22, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission "John Cornyn October Quarterly," Accessed October 28, 2013
  38. Open Secrets "Top Recipients of Lobbyists Cash in 2013" Accessed July 3, 2013
  39. Open Secrets "John Cornyn 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed November 23, 2011
  40. Gov Track "John Cornyn," Accessed June 7, 2013
  41. OpenCongress, "John Cornyn," Accessed July 30, 2013
  42. GovTrack, "John Cornyn," Accessed April 2, 2013
  43. LegiStorm "John Cornyn"
  44. "John Cornyn (R-Texas), 2011," accessed February 22, 2013
  45., "Cornyn, (R-TX), 2010"
  46. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," March 11, 2013
  47. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  48. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  49. Official House website "Biography," Accessed November 23, 2011