Cornyn Renews Call to Bring Austin Tice Home

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement about Houston-native Austin Tice, a Marine veteran and journalist who was taken captive in Syria six years ago today:

“For the Tice family, the absence of their son and brother has made for an unimaginable and devastating six years,” Sen. Cornyn said. “I’m in awe of their perseverance as they continue their relentless push to bring him home. Today I renew my call for Austin to be released by his captors, and I’m thankful the Trump Administration shares my desire to see him come home as soon as possible.”

Background:

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 been working with Trump Administration officials on the case.

In 2015, Sen. Cornyn introduced legislation that would establish 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.

Posted: 06/22/2015

WASHINGTON -U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced legislationtoday establishing an Interagency Hostage Recovery Coordinator, a newly established position designated to properly coordinate a unified government response to hostage situations and work to secure the release of all hostages held by terrorist groups. Last month Sen. Cornyn spoke on the Senate floor about Houston native Austin Tice, a Marine veteran and journalist who has been held captive since 2012 – more than 1,000 days.

“Families of Americans held hostage by terrorists, rogue regimes, or other bad actors deserve as much information as possible about the work being done to ensure their loved-ones are returned home safely,” Sen. Cornyn said. “The weeks, months and years of silence about a loved-one’s well-being are unbearable, and we need to do more to help those here in the U.S. waiting for answers and to ensure some unity of effort by the Federal Government.”

“American hostages held and killed by ISIS and other terrorist groups were aid workers, humanitarians, and journalists – they represent the highest of American ideals and values,” said Senator Cardin. “Too frequently, the suffering families of hostages were left in the dark, unsure who in government was working exclusively to ensure the safe return home of their loved ones. Maryland resident Elaine Weinstein and her family experienced incredible heartache while their beloved Warren was abducted and held by terrorists. There are no remedies to the pain the Weinsteins and other affected families have endured, but we must as a nation respond more effectively to these tragedies. That is why this legislation is so vital.”

In addition to directing the federal government’s response, the newly created Interagency Hostage Recovery Coordinator will establish a fusion cell comprised of various government agencies to respond to each hostage situation, and work closely with family members of hostages and to inform them of developments.

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Judiciary, Intelligence, and Finance Committees.

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