• 72°

U.S. Senator John Cornyn plans August visit to Texas

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is planning on making several stops to the Lone Star State in August. The trail includes Dallas, Austin and Corpus Christi — but not Port Arthur — in which he will discuss issues such as veteran scholarships, highway bills, gun violence and labor.

First up on the list is Austin, where he will meet with student-veterans to discuss the Veterans STEM Scholarship Act.

“I’ve introduced a bill to take advantage of STEM scholarship money that passed the Senate and is awaiting the president’s signature,” Cornyn said during a conference call with Texas reporters Wednesday. “Right now, the veterans applying for the Nourse STEM Scholarship must be enrolled for a 128 credit hours, which proved to be an odd and impractical number. We paired it back to 120 hours, which is more feasible, and opens the door for veteran STEM scholarships in most Texas schools and in the country once it is signed into law, which I believe it will be soon.”

Cornyn said he will also visit Corpus Christi to address a shortage in construction workers after Harvey.

“In Corpus Christi, I will visit a free carpentry workshop designed to train Texans to meet increased construction demands post-Harvey,” he said. “Parenthetically, as I travel the state, one of the most frequent concerns I hear expressed by employers is the lack of labor or trade workforce to fill the many jobs that exist. That’s why this workshop is so important and so relevant.”

Also along the trail is a stop in Dallas, where Cornyn said he will discuss gun crime and violence with local law enforcement.

“In the Five Points Neighborhood in Dallas, we will be talking about an update to something called, ‘Project Safe Neighborhoods,’” he said. “This is a nationwide partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutors to reduce gun violence.

“My interest in this topic dates back to my time as attorney general when I learned about ‘Project Exile,’ which is a project in Richmond, Virginia. President George W. Bush and I rolled out ‘Texas Exile’ to address gun crime, mostly with felons who cannot legally possess or carry firearms, or people who use firearms in commission of other offenses, to make sure that they don’t plea bargain that away with just a slap on the wrist.”

Following the work period in Texas, Cornyn said his next focus would be on the highway bill that will largely affect the state.

“The highway bill came out of the Environment and Public Works Committee,” he said. “This is important to Texas. Obviously, we are a big, growing state with a lot of demand on our transportation infrastructure, so the highway bill is on the agenda.”

Cornyn said other items on the agenda will include drug pricing to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for consumers and the U.S-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

For more information on any of these topics visit https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/issues.