Sen. Cruz: There are bipartisan achievements in NDAA bill we can be proud of
Worked with both Republicans and Democrats to bolster national defense, strengthen religious liberty protections, combat sexual assault, and assist veterans
December 20, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, yesterday voted against final passage of the 2013 National Defense Reauthorization Act (NDAA), fulfilling his promise to oppose any NDAA bill that does not explicitly prohibit the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.
However, there are several bipartisan provisions in the final bill that Sen. Cruz introduced or advocated alongside both Republican and Democrat Senate colleagues. Collectively, these provisions represent substantial progress on vital priorities.
“Unfortunately, the final outcome of the NDAA bill included provisions that made it impossible for me to support; specifically, Sen. Harry Reid refused to allow a vote on any amendments to protect the Due Process rights of American citizens not to be subject to indefinite detention," Sen. Cruz said. "Nevertheless, there are significant bipartisan achievements in NDAA bill that bolster our national defense, strengthen religious liberty protections, combat sexual assault, and assist our veterans."
"It was a pleasure to work with my colleagues on these efforts, particularly Senators Lee, Cornyn, Gillibrand, and Donnelly," Sen. Cruz continued. "I look forward to working with them all again next year on this reauthorization bill to further support our service men and women and to strengthen our national defense.”
Measures in the final NDAA bill that Sen. Cruz introduced, personally advocated, or strongly supports include:
- A Cruz Amendment requiring an independent investigation into reports of religious discrimination against troops sharing their faith (Section 533).
- A Lee-Cruz amendment that strengthens the protection of religious liberty in the military (Section 532).
- Provision prohibiting the President from selling or transferring the Mount Soledad veterans’ memorial in San Diego to the highest bidder. The ACLU and groups hostile to this veterans memorial have long advocated this transfer (page 298, Joint Explanatory Statement). Sen. Cruz offered a similar amendment on the Senate floor.
- A provision that anonymously surveys chaplains on threats to their faith and their work (Section 534).
- Language from a Cruz amendment to recognize and commend the State Department’s authorization of the Rewards for Justice program for the terrorists who attacked the diplomatic facilities in Benghazi Libya on September 11, 2012 (Sections 1206, Joint Explanatory statement).
Fort Hood Terrorist Attack
- Language from Sen. Cornyn’s amendment, co-sponsored by Sen. Cruz, authorizing the Purple Heart to victims of the Fort Hood terrorist attack (Section 565).
National Security and Missile Defense
- A Cruz amendment to direct the Secretary of Defense to address the growing threat of a missile attack from the Gulf of Mexico or the southern hemisphere through bolstered missile defense capabilities (Section 238).
- A Cornyn amendment, supported by Sen. Cruz, to prohibit the Department of Defense from using taxpayer dollars to purchase Russian-made helicopters (Section 1255).
- Prohibition of moving Guantanamo detainees back to the United States (Section 1034). Sen. Cruz introduced an amendment in the Senate Armed Services Committee markup to authorize the Department of Defense to transport medical supplies or needed personnel from the U.S. to Guantanamo Bay in order to prevent detainees from being transported to the United States for medical care.
- Prohibition on a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round (Section 2711). Sen. Cruz won adoption of an amendment in committee markup that would have required DOD to conduct an overseas BRAC study before even considering a domestic BRAC round.
- Protection of Servicemen and Women and their Families
- Protection for graduates of home school education to ensure they are not discriminated against in joining the military (Section 573).
- Improved assistance for widows of troops killed in combat (Section 633).