May 22, 2015
As we approach Memorial Day, let us never forget the sacrifice of those who shed their blood so that we might remain free. This Monday, scattered petals throughout the land remind us of liberty born anew because of their sacrifice.
I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on this incredible gift of freedom, and to remember all those we’ve lost in battles to preserve it.
Keep Texas strong,
Sen. Cruz Receives Bipartisan Support for NDAA Amendments
Last week, Sen. Cruz applauded the passage of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). He introduced or cosponsored more than a dozen amendments that were successfully adopted by the committee.
“Congress' first priority is to provide for the national defense and ensure our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have everything they need to defend our freedom,” said Sen. Cruz. “I am grateful for the committee's support for my amendments, including measures that will ensure the readiness of our troops, support for our allies, and continued vigilance against our adversaries. This bipartisan legislation reflects the dedication this committee has to our men and women in uniform. I am honored to have worked with my colleagues to achieve the important reforms in this legislation and look forward to its consideration on the Senate floor. There are certainly provisions that I believe can be improved further to guarantee we have the best trained and equipped military in the world.”
The amendments Sen. Cruz sponsored include the following. View the full list here.
- Renewable Energy Obstructions near Military Installations helps each branch of the military obtain more direct input into the decisions of the Department of Defense (DoD) Siting Clearinghouse during its assessment of renewable energy projects near military facilities.
- National Guard Full Time Operational Status modifications will improve the efficiency of the National Guard by requiring the National Guard Bureau to account for states that over-recruit to meet the National Guard's overall end strength. The National Guard routinely asks Texas to recruit beyond designated levels; and Texans unequivocally answer that call.
- Iranian Cyber Capabilities Reporting expands the existing Annual Report on the Military Power of Iran to include an assessment on Iran's rapidly developing offensive and defensive cyber warfare capabilities.
- Space-Based Missile Defense requests an assessment from the Missile Defense Agency on the research and development of a space-based missile defense capability and its potential role in the layered ballistic missile defense system the U.S. currently possesses. A space-based component is critical to pursue given the increasing global threat environment. This capability would provide additional engagement time and intercept opportunities for the U.S. and better protect the American people, our allies, and our forward-deployed forces.
Sen. Cruz Delivers Statement on Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act
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On Wednesday, Sen. Cruz delivered the following statement at an executive session of the Senate Commerce Committee. The Cruz-Nelson-Peters Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act was reported out of committee for consideration by the full U.S. Senate.
“Today we build upon the Commercial Space Launch Act that was first signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and last amended in 2004,” said Sen. Cruz. “Since becoming the Chairman of the Space, Science, and Competitiveness subcommittee I have made it a priority to carry forth President Reagan’s vision of producing a stronger and more efficient launch capability for the United States that will contribute to continued American leadership in space.
“Thanks to the leadership and bipartisan support of Ranking Member Nelson, Ranking Member Peters, Senator Rubio and Senator Gardner we have produced a bill for this committee’s consideration and that was just adopted by this committee that all of us can be proud of, and that has received support from 20 organizations in the space industry. Our legislation reflects the needs of a changing and growing industry and aims to encourage the competitiveness of the U.S. commercial space industry while recognizing the vital role the private sector plays along with NASA. I commend the committee and I commend the Chairman for this bipartisan legislation moving forward.”
The bill extends the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024 and ensures stability for the continued development and growth of the U.S. commercial space sector. View more details here.
Sen. Cruz Sends Letter to Defense Secretary Requesting Information about Iran
On Friday, Sen. Cruz, joined by Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and David Perdue (R-Ga.), sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter expressing strong concern over the ongoing publication delay of the Defense Department’s Annual Report on the Military Power of Iran.
“In the context of the ongoing P5+1 negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran over that nation’s nuclear program and its potential military dimensions, we believe it is imperative that this report be published as quickly as possible,” the senators wrote. “We are concerned that the negotiations fail to recognize the inherent dangers of a nuclear Iran, particularly given the regime’s repeated genocidal threats against America and our close ally Israel.”
Read the full letter here.
A Regional Update from South Central Texas Regional Director Michael Koerner
This week, I had the opportunity to travel throughout the region. In San Antonio, I had the distinct honor of presenting a letter from Sen. Cruz to a Central Catholic High School student congratulating him on his recent appointment to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. While in the city, I was also pleased to serve as a judge for the San Antonio Tea Party's first annual Constitutional Scholarship.
Then, I headed to Corpus Christi to continue our monthly mobile outreach efforts and met with local officials and leaders in the community.
And the final stop was El Paso, where I attended the Borderplex Trade Alliance and City of El Paso's sister city signing ceremony—this is an opportunity for the city of El Paso to partner with the city of Hadera, Israel in an effort to promote global investment and cultural exchange programs.