Senator Cornyn

Cornyn Praises Austin Tice News, Renews Call for His Release

October 19, 2020

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement praising reports of the Administration’s recent talks with Syrian officials to secure the safe release of Austin Tice, a Houston native, Marine veteran, and journalist who has been held captive in Syria for more than eight years:

“The Tice family has had an empty seat at their dinner table for eight years, and I admire their tremendous strength and tenacity on behalf of their son and brother,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I’m grateful to the Administration for what they’ve done to try to bring Austin home, and I renew my call for his captors to release him into American custody immediately.”


Sen. Cornyn has met with the Tice Family several times since Austin’s capture in August of 2012. Additionally, Sen. Cornyn sent letters to former Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013 and to President Obama in 2014 and 2016 asking that the Administration use all of their resources to locate Austin and keep the Tice family informed of any updates on his whereabouts. Beginning in 2017, Sen. Cornyn has worked with Trump Administration officials on the case.

Sen. Cornyn has discussed Austin Tice’s case with the president directly multiple times this year and has spoken with the Tice family as well. He has also communicated about the case with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Ambassador Roger Carstens.

In 2015, Sen. Cornyn introduced legislation that would establish an Interagency Hostage Recovery Coordinator to properly coordinate a unified government response to hostage situations like Austin Tice’s and secure the release of all hostages held by terrorist groups and other bad actors.