Sen. Cruz Receives Bipartisan Support for NDAA Amendments
Will Continue to Pursue Measure to Ensure DOD Not Bound by Unnecessary Energy Consumption Mandates
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, this week participated in the Senate Armed Services Committee’s consideration of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). He introduced two amendments that were adopted by the committee.
“I am encouraged by the bipartisan support of my colleagues for two of the amendments I introduced that will rightly pay respect to brave Texans and Americans and strengthen our international alliances," Sen. Cruz said. “One of the greatest duties we have in the Senate is to provide for the common defense, and I am honored to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in cosponsoring a number of vital reforms that will better serve our armed forces.”
Sen. Cruz sponsored the following amendments that were adopted by the committee:
- Extend Purple Heart Eligibility – supported by Sen. Cornyn, to expand Purple Heart eligibility to include members of the armed forces who have been killed or wounded in an attack inspired or motivated by a foreign terrorist organization. There will be a retroactive review to September 11, 2001, and the Secretary of Defense will also specifically conduct a review of the 2009 Fort Hood attack, applying the same criteria to civilian employees in order to determine eligibility for the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom.
- Invite Taiwan to RIMPAC – to invite Taiwan as well as China to join the humanitarian relief elements of the 2014 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world’s largest multinational maritime warfare exercise hosted by the United States Navy’s Pacific Fleet.
Sen. Cruz also cosponsored the following amendments that were adopted by the committee:
- Prohibit Rosoboronexport – sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, to terminate all existing contracts and prohibit the United States from entering into future contracts with Rosoboronexport, a Russian arms exporter, and to require that the United States President submit a report to Congress that Rosoboronexport has stopped lethal military equipment transfers to the Government of Syria.
- Improve Sexual Assault Incident Database – sponsored by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, to require the Department of Defense to include names of alleged sexual assaulters that are currently stored in a restricted report in order to better protect servicemen and women from past offenders.
- Report Iran Inter-continental Ballistic Missile Capability – sponsored by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, to require the Secretary of Defense and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency to submit a report to Congress by September 2014, outlining Iran’s inter-continental ballistic missile capabilities over the past year and the military implications of these developments on the United States.
- Recognize Military Chaplains – sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO, to recognize military chaplains as spiritual leaders to service members, and acknowledge that they exist “to advise and assist commanders in the discharge of their responsibilities to provide for the free exercise of religion in the context of military service as guaranteed by the Constitution, to assist commanders in managing Religious Affairs, and to serve as the principal advisors to commanders for all issues regarding the impact of religion on military operations.”
- Limit Funds for Procurement of Drop-in Fuels – sponsored by Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK, to limit funds for procurement of drop-in alternative fuels unless it is cost-competitive with traditional petroleum fuel.
- Decontaminate Island of Culebra, Puerto Rico – sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, to enable the Secretary of the Army to remove unexploded armaments in Culebra, Puerto Rico.
- Establish National Commission on the Future of the Army – sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, to establish a National Commission on the Future of the Army to study the size and force mix and require a submission of its findings by February 1, 2016. It also preserves through fiscal year 2015 Army – including its National Guard and Reserve units – end strength levels as submitted in the budget request.
Additionally, Sen. Cruz offered an amendment to Repeal Renewable Energy Mandates for the DoD, and allow the Department of Defense to be exempted from unnecessary energy consumption mandates imposed by the federal government. This amendment, which was cosponsored by SASC Ranking Member Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK, would ensure that DoD is not forced to fill quotas for expensive and experimental renewable fuel programs and will instead be able to purchase the most cost effective and reliable energy source at a time when we are facing significant cuts to our combat forces. Sen. Cruz intends to offer it again as an amendment on the Senate floor.