2020 Texas Senate Candidate Guide
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – Support Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare?
John Cornyn – No. Voted against ACA in 2009 and has since backed 27 bills to kill it. “Our health care system is broken, but Obamacare, with its prohibitive costs and job-killing policies, isn’t the answer.”
MJ Hegar – Yes. Obamacare needs improvement but must be kept so insurance companies can’t “discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions or sell junk plans that leave folks vulnerable.”
CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Limit contributions to campaigns or require more disclosure about their sources?
John Cornyn – No. Supports Citizens United, allowing corporations to contribute unlimited amounts to PACs. Supreme Court “has acted to protect … First Amendment rights of free speech.”
MJ Hegar – Yes. Supports campaign finance and ethics reforms to “ensure Washington is accountable to voters and no one else.”
CLIMATE CHANGE – Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat? Address as a top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases?
John Cornyn – Unclear. Says he recognizes that nation can’t ignore issue. Approaches focus mainly on development of carbon capture technology, not regulation. Reintroduced a bill to end tax incentives for new wind energy projects.
MJ Hegar – Yes. Climate change is “one of the greatest threats to the health and safety of our communities.” Advocates “aggressive action” to reduce carbon emissions and calls renewable energy “critical to both our economy and national security.”
COURTS—SUPREME COURT – Supported nominations of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court? See CEEP Supreme Court guide.
John Cornyn – Yes. Played key role ensuring Kavanaugh’s confirmation. In 2016. rejected considering Obama nominee Merrick Garland. “Too much at stake to leave the decision in the hands of a president who is headed out the door.” Later said Republicans had been elected to put a check on Obama. Supports voting on Barrett as Ginsburg replacement.
MJ Hegar – No. Kavanaugh showed “disdain” for female senators, “distressing” for a Supreme Court member “deciding issues that relate to women and our freedom.” Opposes picking Ginsburg replacement now versus letting presidential winner of November election choose.
COVID-19 – Support administration’s response to coronavirus pandemic?
John Cornyn – Yes. Supports Trump downplaying the virus. But need “improved testing capacity to identify and stop the spread.” “Congress must invest more in research” for a vaccine.
ENVIRONMENT – Tighten or loosen environmental regulations?
John Cornyn – Loosen. Praised EPA repeal of Clean Water Rule saying the rule “prevents farmers, landowners and job creators from taking care of their land how they know best.”
FINANCIAL REGULATION – Tighten or loosen regulation?
John Cornyn – Loosen. Introduced legislation to roll back Dodd-Frank banking rules.
MJ Hegar – No position found.
GUN RULES – Enact more restrictive legislation on guns?
John Cornyn – Mostly no. Opposes ban on assault weapons and semi-automatic rifles. Has expressed openness to regulating “bump stocks.”
IMMIGRATION – Create path to citizenship for “DACA” residents brought as children to U.S?
IMMIGRATION – Support expanded border walls?
John Cornyn – Yes. Securing border must be “a top priority.” Approved of Trump’s diverting military construction funds for a border wall.
IMPEACHMENT – Support calling witnesses and convicting Trump on impeachment charges?
John Cornyn – No on both. Democrats “failed to bring forward compelling and unassailable evidence of any crime, and thus failed to meet their burden of proof.”
IRAN – Oppose military attacks on Iran without congressional approval?
LABOR – Support “right to work” laws, eliminating the ability of unions to mandate dues for workers they represent?
John Cornyn – Yes. Voted to prohibit TSA employees from collective bargaining. Co-sponsored National Right-to-Work Act that would weaken unions.
LEGAL ABORTION – Ban/highly restrict or legal?
MJ Hegar – Legal. Wants Roe v. Wade codified as federal law so women’s reproductive rights “are not subject to the whims of an increasingly partisan court system.”
LGBT RIGHTS – Support LGBTQ rights?
John Cornyn – No. Signed brief arguing workplace discrimination protections don’t apply to sexual orientation.
MARIJUANA – Legalize marijuana?
MINIMUM WAGE – Raise federal hourly minimum wage above current $7.25?
John Cornyn – No recent position. Called 2014 bill to raise federal minimum wage a “job killer.”
PLANNED PARENTHOOD – Support Planned Parenthood receiving public funds for non-abortion care?
POLICE/COMMUNITY – Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight?
John Cornyn – Unclear. “A one-size-fits-all rulebook would create more problems than solutions. But … Congress has a responsibility to ensure all police departments are transparent, accountable and well-trained.”
MJ Hegar – Yes. “Must pass comprehensive criminal justice reforms to combat racial and economic disparities … including ending racial profiling and stop and frisk,” and remove profit incentives for unfair arrests
TAXES – Support administration’s $1.9 trillion (2017) tax cuts?
VOTING RIGHTS – Support voting by mail to address COVID’s impact on voting?
Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org offer guides to local races.