WASHINGTON — Today on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) joined Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) to discuss upcoming opportunities for bipartisan cooperation on key legislative priorities. Excerpts of the interview are below, and video can be found here.
On the Biden Presidency and Bipartisanship:
“I think we were all encouraged when we heard President Biden on January the 20th talking about healing the divisions in the country and appealing to national unity. Unfortunately, as I have complained to my friend Chris Coons, with 30 executive orders and a partisan $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, that only 10% of which was actually COVID-19 relief, we are not off to a great start. Having said that, Chris and I are working together to try to come together on some bipartisan bills. The truth is it’s very hard to get anything done in the Senate unless it is bipartisan. There are some exceptions to the rule, but in a 50/50 Senate neither party has a mandate, and so we simply have to work together to make progress where we can. I’m encouraged that Chris is a good partner and willing to work with me to try to accomplish some important things.”
On His Bipartisan Track Record:
“Well, what we’ve tried to do is identify areas where we agree, and the truth is the parties are not as divided on some of these issues as you might imagine just from reading the papers, or watching the news online, or on cable news. We’re trying to identify areas where we can make progress. I know [there’s] a lot of concern about gun violence in the country. That’s been a chronic problem. I worked with Chris Murphy, the Senator from Connecticut. We passed something called the Fix NICS bill which has now resulted in millions of new background checks being uploaded to the background check system, and as I’ve told Chris, I’m very proud of our work together on that because I believe it saved lives. So, Chris Coons and I have tried to identify those areas like civics education, like I said, the background check denial report to local police, AmeriCorps, things like that, where we can make some progress and hopefully bring back some of the muscle memory of previous years when Congress actually worked better together.”
On Democrats’ Partisan Infrastructure Proposal:
“In the interest of bipartisanship, I’ll agree that Senator Coons is half right. There is a core infrastructure bill that we could pass with appropriate pay-fors like roads, and bridges, and even reaching out to broadband, which this pandemic has exposed a great digital divide in the country. We’ve seen advances in telemedicine, we’ve seen more people learning online. I think we could all agree to that, but I think that’s the part we can agree on, so let’s do it.”