Military & Veterans
Senator Cornyn learned the value of patriotic service to our country from his father who spent 31 years in the military, beginning as a B-17 pilot in World War II. Growing up in an Air Force family and moving from base to base, Senator Cornyn saw firsthand the sacrifices made by those who dedicate themselves to defending freedom at home and abroad.
Senator Cornyn knows our nation can never do enough to repay those who have selflessly served and sacrificed for our country. He is committed to making certain that our nation’s active duty, National Guard, and Reserve military forces receive the best training, equipment, and education, and that our veterans receive the highest-quality health care, services, and benefits they so rightly deserve.
Texas is home to 15 major military installations and several defense production facilities that manufacture critical military aircraft vital to sustaining American air superiority. These programs are good for Texas and good for America, providing thousands of high-paying jobs while producing the tools our military needs to dominate the modern battlefield and keep our nation safe.
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- Authored the Respect for Grieving Military Families Act to stop the Department of Defense from clawing back deceased veterans’ retirement benefits while their families are still in mourning.
- Introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Fairness for Servicemembers and their Families Act to help ensure life insurance packages for servicemembers and veterans account for increases in cost of living and inflation.
- Sponsored the Armed Forces Facility Conditions and Quality of Life Act, which would require an independent study of the Department of Defense to determine the impact of facility conditions and military construction projects on the quality of life of military members and their families.
- Introduced the Servicemember Safety and Security Act, now law, which strengthens the reporting and review policies and procedures for members of the Armed Forces who are reported absent without leave or missing and improves information sharing between local and federal law enforcement agencies.
- Introduced the Protecting our Servicemembers through Proven Methods Act, now law, which directs the Secretary of Defense to collect comprehensive data on the causes of interpersonal violence in the military to help empower military commanders in their efforts to keep our servicemembers safe.
- Authored the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, now law, to authorize the President to enter into lend-lease agreements with Ukraine to provide additional categories of military equipment to protect civilians.
- Cosponsored legislation to ban the United States from purchasing Russian oil in response to its invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign democracy.
- Introduced the VITAL Assessment Act, now law, which provides critical mental health care and support to student veterans by improving the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Integration Academic Leadership (VITAL) Program.
- Introduced the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, now law, which provides resources for states to implement crisis intervention court programs, including Veterans’ Courts.
- Introduced the Veteran STEM Scholarship Improvement Act, now law, to help veterans take full advantage of the Nourse STEM Scholarship provided to veterans studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
- Sponsored the Support our Military Spouses Act to ease the relocation process often required of military families and ensure spouses of active-duty service members do not have to establish new legal residency every time they move for a military reassignment.
- Introduced the Army Facilitating Untapped Technology, Utilities, Resources, and Equipment for Servicemembers Act (Army FUTURES Act), which would clarify roles and responsibilities for Army modernization efforts and help support the Austin-based Army Futures Command’s new and innovative strategies to keep our Armed Forces competitive in the evolving global security landscape.
- Authored the bipartisan Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act, now law, to expand access to veteran treatment courts as an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system for veterans who have committed non-violent misdemeanor crimes while transitioning back to civilian life.
- Authored the Military Voting Protection Act, now law, to ensure service members are provided with ballots and registration cards necessary to vote while deployed overseas along with instruction from trained personnel on how to cast their vote in their registered state.
- Sponsored the Preserving Teacher Loan Forgiveness for Military Spouses Act, which would ensure military spouses teaching in our hardest-to-serve school districts do not lose eligibility for the federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness program should they follow their military spouse’s relocation or reassignment to military installations in the United States or abroad.
- Introduced the Children of Military Protection (COMP) Act, now law, to close the jurisdictional gap across our military bases that has allowed juvenile perpetrators of sexual assault against other children on base to slip through the cracks without facing prosecution.
- Led the fight in Congress to recognize the November 9, 2009 attack at Fort Hood as an act of terrorism and ensure that the victims and families receive the same treatment, benefits, and honors—including the Purple Heart—as Americans killed or wounded in an overseas combat zone.
- Introduced the Jobs for Our Heroes Act, now law, which streamlines the process by which active duty military, reservists, and veterans receive commercial driver’s licenses.
- Cosponsored the Veterans Treatment Court Improvements Act, which requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to hire at least 50 Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists, place each into an eligible VA medical center, and ensure that each serves as part of a justice team in a veterans treatment court or other veteran-focused court.
- Introduced the Dust Off Crews of the Vietnam War Congressional Gold Medal Act, which recognizes pilots and their crewmembers who served during the Vietnam War. These individuals were heroic Americans who regularly operated with unwavering dedication to the preservation of human life and sacred American values through their indomitable courage, extraordinary action, and sound judgment under fire.
- Introduced legislation to provide veterans in far South Texaswith a full-service VA inpatient health care facility.
- Supported the Honoring Our PACT Act, now law, which helps veterans exposed to toxic burn pits receive the care they deserve.
- Voted for the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act, which included a 4.6% pay raise for troops, authorized more than $300 million for military construction projects in Texas, and directed the Secretary of Defense to collect comprehensive data on the causes of sexual assault, harassment, and domestic violence in the military.
- Voted for the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act, which included a 2.7% pay raise for troops, authorized more than $360 million for military construction projects in Texas, invested in Texas students with $42 million for the Department of Defense’s STARBASE program in Austin, Houston, San Angelo, and San Antonio to encourage students to explore STEM opportunities with military personnel, and helped to ensure access to high-quality childcare on military bases.
- Supported the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, now law, which established the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection and increased protections for whistleblowers to improve the accountability of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Authorized requiring the Veterans Affairs Secretary to provide Congress with a plan to address the long wait times for veterans seeking health care at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.
- Supported the Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act, now law, which reauthorized a number of important services for homeless veterans and low-income veteran families.
- Supported the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, now law, which improved access to VA services for veterans living in rural areas, expanded nursing home care for elderly and severely service-disabled veterans, and expanded individualized rehabilitation and reintegration services for veterans with traumatic brain injuries.
- Supported the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act, now law, which expanded post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to include active service performed by National Guard members on state orders; increased reimbursement for licenses, certification tests, and fees to take admissions exams; and expanded GI Bill benefits to include on-the-job and apprenticeship training, flight programs, and distance learning.