Protect and Defend

We must always remember that our government's primary responsibility is to protect and defend the American people and advance the interests of the United States.

Senator John Cornyn

A clear foreign policy strategy is critical as we face a growing number of threats to America’s national security. Senator Cornyn has consistently supported responsible intelligence gathering efforts and constructive diplomatic relationships with strategic partnerships around the world to ensure Texans and all Americans are safe here at home.

Floor Speeches and Videos

  • Introduced the Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act of 2019 (S. 1369), which directs the President to impose financial and immigration/entry sanctions on listed nationals of Vietnam who are complicit in human rights abuses committed against Vietnamese nationals, regardless of whether such abuses occurred in Vietnam. The bill also requires the President to publicly submit a list of individuals complicit in such human rights abuses to Congress.
  • Introduced the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2019 (S. 893), which requires the President to develop a strategy that ensures the security of next-generation mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure in the United States, and assists allies and strategic partners in maximizing the security of their own next-generation mobile telecommunications systems, infrastructure, and software.
  • Introduced the United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act (S. 587), which seeks to prioritize and expand educational and professional exchange programs with Mexico—Texas’ most valuable trading partner—to bolster our mutual economic interests. Specifically, this bill requires the Secretary of State to develop a strategy that encourages United States and Mexican academic institutions and businesses to collaborate and assist prospective and developing entrepreneurs in strengthening their business skills, while also promoting cooperation and joint business initiatives across the United States and Mexico.
  • Introduced the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium Act of 2019 (S. 333), which, in part, authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to work with cybersecurity consortia to provide technical assistance services to build and sustain capabilities to prepare and respond to cybersecurity risks and incidents, including threats and acts of terrorism.
  • Cosponsored S. 94, the Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017, which imposes sanctions in response to cyber intrusions by the Government of the Russian Federation and other aggressive activities of the Russian Federation.
  • Introduced S. Res. 102 (115th Congress, 2017), a resolution which supports continued diplomatic, economic, and security cooperation between the United States and Mexico.
  • Cosponsored S. 474, which halts certain assistance to the West Bank and Gaza until the Secretary of State certifies that the Palestinian Authority has taken appropriate steps to end violence and terrorism against Israeli citizens.
  • Cosponsored S. 722, the Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017, which prescribes requirements for mandatory sanctions with respect to: Iran's ballistic missile or weapons of mass destruction programs, the sale or transfer to Iran of military equipment or the provision of related technical or financial assistance, and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated foreign persons. 
  • Introduced S. 1574, the Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act of 2017, which directs the President to: impose financial and immigration/entry sanctions on listed nationals of Vietnam who are complicit in human rights abuses committed against Vietnamese nationals, regardless of whether such abuses occurred in Vietnam; and submit to Congress a publicly available list of individuals complicit in such human rights abuses.
  • Worked to include language in Trade Promotion Authority Legislation to require the President to make sure trading partners, including Vietnam, are held to high standards when it comes to protecting the rule of law and human rights.
  • Sponsored S.2857 (114th Congress, 2016), a bill to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain membership status for India in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
  • Cosponsored S. 2901, the Advancing U.S.-India Defense Cooperation Act of 2016, which directs annual coordination with India to develop military contingency plans for addressing threats to mutual security interests.
  • Cosponsored S. 3138, the No Ex-Im Financing for Iran Act of 2016, which amends the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 to prohibit the Export-Import Bank from guaranteeing, insuring, extending credit, or participating in the extension of credit in connection with the export of U.S. goods or services to any entity that does business with or provides credit or a guarantee to any other entity in connection with exports involving:
    • the Government of Iran, or an entity in which the Government of Iran participates,
    • an entity created under Iranian law, or
    • an operation in Iran
  • ​Cosponsored S. 3285, the No Ransom Payments Act of 2016, which prohibits the President from using funds to make payments to Iran, to impose sanctions with respect to Iranian persons that hold or detain United States citizens, and for other purposes.
  • Cosponsored S. 2485, the North Korea and Iran Sanctions Act of 2016, which requires the President to reinstate immediately all sanctions against Iran that were waived or suspended by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (agreed to at Vienna July 14, 2015) if the Director of National Intelligence certifies that Iran has acquired, or is attempting to acquire, nuclear weapons technology from North Korea.
  • Cosponsored S. 2692, the Countering Warfare Act of 2016, which improves the United States’ efforts to counter propaganda and disinformation spread by Russia, China, and other countries. 
  • Cosponsored S. 2725, the Iran Ballistic Missile Sanctions Act of 2016, which amends the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992 to cover ballistic missile or related technology.
  • Cosponsored S. 2726, the Iran Terrorism and Human Rights Sanctions Act of 2016, which prescribes requirements for mandatory sanctions with respect to:
    • Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and entities it owns in whole or in part,
    • Mahan Air,
    • Iran's support of terrorism,
    • Iran's human rights abuses,
    • certain Iranian individuals,
    • persons who conduct transactions with or on behalf of certain Iranian individuals, and
    • financial institutions that engage in certain transactions on behalf of persons involved in human rights abuses or that export sensitive technology to Iran.
  • Cosponsored S.Res.508 (114th Congress, 2016), a resolution expressing support for the expeditious consideration and finalization of a new, robust, and long-term Memorandum of Understanding on military assistance to Israel between the United States Government and the Government of Israel.
  • Cosponsored S.Res.302 (114th Congress, 2015), a resolution expressing support for Israel and condemning the Palestinian terror attacks.
  • Cosponsored S. 2144, the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2015, which directs the administration to investigate the sanctionable activities involving North Korea and to apply sanctions and penalties as appropriate.
  • Cosponsored S.269, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015, which would impose additional sanctions to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapon capabilities. 
  • Cosponsored S.165, the Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act of 2015and several amendments to legislation relating to the detention of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo), including:
    • a one-year prohibition on the transfer of detainees to the United States,
    • a permanent prohibition on the transfer of detainees to countries that have had detainee recidivism cases or that are state sponsors of terrorism, and
    • a prohibition on construction or modification of facilities at Gitmo using all U.S. government funds.
  • Co-founder and co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, a bipartisan coalition for Senators to work closely with Indian government officials and Indian-Americans to promote U.S.-India bilateral relations.
  • Cosponsored S.Res.225 (2013, 113th Congress), expressing the sense of the Senate that Congress should establish a joint select committee to investigate and report on the attack on the United States diplomatic facility and American personnel in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.
  • Cosponsored S.462, the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013, declaring Israel a Major Strategic Partner of the United States, authorizing an increase in U.S. defense stockpiles in and the transfer of surplus military equipment to Israel, and taking steps to include Israel in the visa waiver program.
  • Cosponsored S.1924, to require the State Department, Defense Department, and the Intelligence Community to report to Congress on information and intelligence sharing with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and member countries.
  • Voted in favor of the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 (S. 1), which authorizes $38 billion in security assistance for Israel, combats the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, enhances bilateral security cooperation with Jordan, and imposes sanctions onto individuals supporting the murderous Assad regime in Syria. This bill included an amendment (S. Amdt. 65) that Senator Cornyn supported, which expressed the sense of the Senate that the United States faces continuing threats from terrorist groups operating in Syria and Afghanistan, and a precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from either country could jeopardize our national security interests.
  • Voted for the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115-232), which included the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act—the most comprehensive legislative overhaul to the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in 40 years.
  • Voted for the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 (Pub. L. No. 115-245), which ensured complete funding to the Department of Defense and pay for our nation’s heroes through September 30, 2019.
  • Voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (Pub. L. No. 115-91), which included an amendment authored by Sen. Cornyn that empowers the Department of Defense and Secretary of Defense siting clearinghouse to provide for greater pilot safety and helps preserve military readiness.
  • Voted for the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (Pub. L. No. 115-44), which imposed enhanced sanctions on:
    • Iran's ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs, individuals involved in the sale, transfer, or provision of technical or financial assistance to Iran regarding military equipment, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and affiliated foreign persons, and persons responsible for violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals in Iran
      • Russian activities concerning: cyber security, crude oil projects, financial institutions, corruption, human rights abuses, evasion of sanctions, transactions with Russian defense or intelligence sectors, export pipelines, privatization of state-owned assets by government officials, and arms transfers to Syria.
      • North Korean cargo and shipping, goods produced in whole or part by North Korean convict or forced labor, and foreign persons that employ North Korean forced laborers.
  • Voted in favor of S. Res. 584, which expressed the sense of the Senate against the making available of current and former diplomats, officials, and members of the Armed Forces of the United States for questioning by the government of Vladimir Putin.
  • Voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (Pub. L. No. 114-328) in the 114th Congress.
  • Voted for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (Pub. L. No. 114-17) to allow Congress to review any deal between the United States and Iran.

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