United States Senator

The Breakdown

All Texas voters will cast their ballots this November to elect a U.S. Senator to represent Texas in the Upper Chamber of Congress.

U.S. Senate Overview
  • Length of term: 6 years

  • Number of TX Senators: 2

  • Number of Senators nationally: 100

  • Term Limits: None

Every state elects two senators to represent the entire state, regardless of population

What does the Senate do?

As part of the legislative branch, the Senate is responsible for approving laws by a two thirds supermajority.  

The Senate approves Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, ambassadors, and other federal officials by a simple majority. The Senate also conducts trials for politicians who have been impeached by the House of Representatives.

Who holds the Senate currently?

Right now, Republicans hold a majority in the Senate with 53 out of 100 seats. The Vice President of the United States Mike Pence (R) serves as President of the Senate.  Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is the Senate’s Majority Leader.

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In the history of the Senate, there have been:
  • 10 Black Senators

  • 8 Asian Senators

  • 9 Latinx/Hispanic Senators

  • 3 Native American Senators

  • 57 female Senators

  • 3 LGBTQ+ Senators

  • 1902 straight, white, male Senators

Why voting for Senator matters
  • Bills need to be approved by a majority in the Senate in order to become laws.

  • Two Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer are in their 80s.  If they retire within four years, the new Senate will approve their replacements.

  • If a new President is elected, the Senate will approve their cabinet hires.

  • If a President is impeached by the house, the trial will be seen before the Senate. 

John Cornyn
  • Began his political career in 1984 as a District Judge in Bexar County. 

  • Has served on the Texas Supreme Court, as Texas Attorney General, and has held a seat in the U.S. Senate since 2002.

Criminal justice

Introduced and backed initiatives to strengthen law enforcement, including:

  • Back the Blue Act of 2017 which expands self-defense and Second Amendment rights for public safety officers

  • Correctional Officer Protection Act of 2015 which increases the self-defense equipment available to federal prison guards

  • Voted against the Affordable Care Act and later voted to repeal the ACA

  • Cosponsored an act to provide state-based alternatives to coverage under the ACA to promote a “market-based health care system”

Women's and Reproductive Rights

Cornyn has supported pro-life bills that would:

  • Prohibit taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions

  • End federal funding for Planned Parenthood

  • Prohibit physicians from performing abortions after 20 weeks (5 months) of pregnancy

  • Voted for the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect America Act to block sanctuary cities from receiving federal funds and increase penalties for undocumented immigrants who reenter U.S.

  • Voted to allow border states jurisdiction in using a portion of their highway infrastructure funds for national border infrastructure projects

Environment and Climate change
  • Believes in reducing level of taxation on Americans and businesses

  • Authored an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle against the Green New Deal

  • Voted for the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act which created a low 10% income tax bracket

What do their opponents say?
  • Supports the right to unionize and collectively bargain

  • Vows to fight efforts to cut pensions, Social Security, and Medicare

  • Opposed the 2017 tax cuts for big corporations and wealthy Americans

MJ Hegar
  • Served 3 tours as a combat pilot in Afghanistan 

  • Barred from a ground combat position, became an advocate for gender equality in the military

Criminal Justice

Supports police reform solutions detailed in Campaign Zero, including:

  • Ending for-profit policing practices

  • Ensuring police departments represent their communities

  • Advocates for a public option to make Medicare available for all those who want it

  • Will protect the Affordable Care Act while advocating for improvements

Women's and reproductive rights
  • Opposed to efforts to close clinics that provide critical care to women across Texas, especially in rural areas

  • Advocates for supporting women and families through access to sex education, over-the-counter contraception, and cost-effective childcare

  • End child separation

  • Process asylum claims properly 

  • Secure border with technology rather than spending money on wall that takes from military budget and seizes land from Texans

  • Build a path to citizenship for undocumented residents

Environment and climate change
  • Supports the right to unionize and collectively bargain

  • Vows to fight efforts to cut pensions, Social Security, and Medicare

  • Opposed the 2017 tax cuts for big corporations and wealthy Americans

What do their opponents say?
  • Cornyn has critiqued the support Hegar has received from national Democratic groups and questioned her experience. His campaign has labeled her “Hollywood Hegar” to illustrate her ties to coastal liberals.