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Sen. John Cornyn
Hometown: San Antonio
Years in Congress: 10
Committees: Finance; Judiciary
Agenda: As the Senate GOP Whip, this conservative Texan will be the partisan point man to critique President Obama's Cabinet and Supreme Court selections. An early test: He is trying to block GOP former Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination as Defense Secretary. He also is seeking a showdown with the White House over raising the federal debt ceiling, using a partial government shutdown as leverage to force deep spending cuts. On another major issue, he cites the need to "fix our broken immigration system" but does not favor citizenship for any person now living in the country without proper documentation.