Elections

State Of The Senate: Cornyn Says Washington Needs Bipartisan Collaboration

U.S. Senator John Cornyn says Washington missed opportunities by not working together.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn was met with a standing ovation as he reflected on some pressing issues facing the U.S. and Texas.

John Cornyn
U.S. Senator John Cornyn gives his annual State of the Senate address in Houston.

With just one week to go before Election Day, Cornyn commented on the Senate’s “missed opportunities” this legislative session. Cornyn said Washington seemed stuck, and addressing national issues won’t be possible without working across the aisle. He said legislators could have done more to address issues like tax reform, education and the thousands of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border into the U.S. this year.

“The failure of the Senate to take serious action on America’s biggest challenges has been contributed to a larger erosion of America’s faith in our democratic institutions,” Cornyn said. “It’s not just Washington, it’s not just politics, but it’s certainly helping contribute to the cynicism and erosion of public trust in our fundamental institutions of governance.”

But, Cornyn said, not everything was a missed opportunity. He said America is in the midst of an energy renaissance, and he praised the City of Houston for its pioneering role in domestic energy production, which he says is essential for continued job creation. But it won’t be possible to fill those jobs without meaningful education opportunities.

He praised local universities like Rice and the University of Texas for their research into the energy industry. But Cornyn said not all students need a four-year college degree in order to be successful. He said it’s important for schools to prepare students for whatever career path they may choose.

“At a time of too high unemployment and stagnant wages, we need to be doing everything possible to provide opportunities for the good jobs and the stable careers that we would hope are available for all Americans,” Cornyn said.

The senator stressed the importance of bipartisan cooperation to address key national issues. As he greeted the crowd after his speech, he said that when legislators fail to work together, it lowers public trust in the government.

“As people look around the world, we see the world seemingly on fire,” he said. “So much of what we need to focus on is getting our government to solve the problems that we can solve right here at home.”

Looking forward, Cornyn said some of the biggest challenges for Washington will be balancing the federal budget and providing meaningful healthcare reform.

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Tomeka Weatherspoon

Producer

Tomeka Weatherspoon is an Emmy-award winning producer. She produces segments, the weekly television program Arts InSight, the short film showcase The Territory and a forthcoming digital series on innovation. Originally from the Midwest, Tomeka studied convergence journalism from the world’s first journalism school at the University of Missouri. She has...

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