Cornyn on Senate COVID relief package, Texas Tech achievements i - FOX34 Lubbock

Cornyn on Senate COVID relief package, Texas Tech achievements in telehealth

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In Washington, congress is scrambling to get more COVID relief to the American people. However, negotiations are stalling just ahead of the looming August recess.

"We know the deadline is basically 2 weeks from now," Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said. 

On Thursday, leadership pulled an expected $1 trillion bill at the last minute, as Senate Republicans and The White House remain divided.

Senator John Cornyn says the GOP's plan will be in stark contrast to the $3 trillion package House Democrats originally pitched.

"Obviously, we want to meet the needs during this emergency, we also need to be aware of the fact that we're racking up more and more debt for future generations," the senator said. 

The rescue package is expected to include several parts. Among them, liability protections. 

"For non-profits for schools and others, in all likelihood they're going to have to defend lawsuits second guessing their decisions," the senator explained. "We're also hearing a lot from a our mayors, and our state, since Texas doesn't have an income tax, we rely a lot on the sales tax. They want some help too, and so we're trying to figure that out," he said.

Cornyn says negotiations across party lines have also become more difficult as we move closer to November's elections.  But he remains optimistic. 

"This is one area where we all recognize this is too important to lapse into the partisan dysfunction that prevails too often," he said.

This week, the senator also met with chancellors across the state, including Texas Tech Chancellor Dr. Tedd Mitchell.  At that meeting, as the pandemic highlights the inequities Americans face, Texas Tech was commended for being ahead of the curve.

"In many, many ways, Texas Tech can become the tip of the spear not just for the state but also for the country. Necessity is the mother of invention with regards to being able to utilize thing like telemedicine, we've always been in a leadership position," Dr. Mitchell said.

"What we've seen is really an acceleration of people getting access to healthcare both physical and mental healthcare," Cornyn added.

Also discussed, internet access and its transition into becoming a critical need. 

"The enormous benefits that would come by broader access particularly with rural areas in Texas and elsewhere that are not well served by internet access," Cornyn said.

"As we look to the horizon, past coronavirus, if you want to look towards the future things, like online educational delivery...we're going to have to do something about our informational infrastructure in the state," Dr. Mitchell explained.

He says he would be surprised if these issues, don't make it to Capitol Hill for consideration. 

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