December 9, 2016
This week, Congress took an important step toward ensuring our military is strong, our homeland is secure, and our interests abroad are protected by passing the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). I am proud to have stood firmly with our brave servicemen and women and voted in favor of this legislation, which will ultimately benefit America’s warriors and our state as a whole.
Home to 1.7 million veterans, the great State of Texas has a long, proud partnership with our nation’s military, and we are blessed to have some of the finest training facilities in the world. This year, I continued working closely with my colleagues to successfully include provisions in NDAA that build on our state’s strong military foundation. For example, the bill includes necessary funds to rebuild Texas’ military infrastructure and addresses some of the challenges that windfarms have recently posed to operations at severalmilitary facilities in the state.
As a nation, we face tremendous challenges and dangerous adversaries. The decisions we make today will affect not only our lives, but also those of future generations. Thankfully, the United States of America is stronger than the obstacles we face. I remain committed to fighting each and every day to strengthen our men and women in uniform and to keeping Texans and our country safe.
Please keep reading for an update on the latest in the Senate.
Keep Texas Strong,
Sen. Cruz: Given Our Current Global Commitments and Tremendous Challenges Facing the New Administration, It Is Imperative to Equip Our Commanders for the Tough Task Ahead
Sen. Cruz on Thursday released the following statement after voting in favor of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act:
“This legislation is a major step toward improving readiness and enhancing the ability of our servicemen and women to defend our nation. The NDAA is not a perfect piece of legislation; inevitably bills of its size and scope fail to address every concern and often interfere in issues unrelated to a bill’s core mission. However, the damage done to our military by its own civilian leadership over the past eight years has placed our service members in a precarious position. The world is more dangerous now than at any point in my lifetime. Every single military leader that came to the Hill this year told us he or she was in dire need of assistance; that readiness is suffering, equipment is on the verge of obsolescence and that our adversaries have rapidly closed a once daunting technological gap. Given our current global commitments and the tremendous challenges facing the new administration, I believe it is imperative to equip our military commanders with the necessary authorities to begin the tough task ahead.
“I am proud to have my earned colleagues’ support for many key provisions I fought to include in the NDAA to address these challenges and strengthen our national security. Equally as important, this final legislation dropped the misguided effort to mandate that young women enroll in the Selective Service and make themselves eligible for conscripted combat service.
“However, I remain deeply concerned that, once again, Congress failed to use this opportunity to revoke a previous NDAA statue that potentially allows for the indefinite detention of America citizens without due process. The 2017 NDAA is silent on that issue, and I will continue to work with my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee while also urging consideration of this issue before the Judiciary Committee and the incoming administration to ensure the steadfast protection of all citizens’ constitutional rights.”
More information on NDAA is available here.
Sen. Cruz: The Day of Infamy Has Become A Day for Remembrance, Reflection, and Above All, Gratitude
On Wednesday, Sen. Cruz delivered a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and heralding the arrival of a new administration that embraces our allies and demonstrates renewed resolve to assume once more the mantle of leadership.
“...Here we are, three-quarters of a century later, and the Day of Infamy has become a day for remembrance, reflection and above all gratitude,” said Sen. Cruz. “Gratitude for that greatest of generations who answered the call to service after Pearl Harbor, who stood staunchly with our allies, looked the evil of the Axis squarely in the eye and saved the free world. They are leaving us now, making it all the more important that we assure each and every one of them of our boundless thanks while we still can.”
Watch and read Sen. Cruz’s floor speech in its entirety here.
Sen. Cruz Talks Border Security with Law Enforcement, Local Officials at Texas-Mexico Border
Last week, Sen. Cruz participated in a border security roundtable with local law enforcement officers and elected officials in McAllen, Texas. In the meeting, Sen. Cruz was briefed on immigration enforcement efforts and top border security issues. Cruz also heard from local officials about priorities for their communities.
“In Texas, border security is not an abstract or a theoretical issue, it is a simple reality that Texans face every day,” Sen. Cruz said. “I have long been critical of the lack of the enforcement of our immigration laws by our current administration. I am incredibly grateful for all of the border patrol officers here in McAllen who risk their lives every day to keep us safe, and I intend to do everything in my power to help address the issues that are unique to the men and women of South Texas.”
Read more about Sen. Cruz’s roundtable in McAllen here. A summary of news coverage is available here.
Cruz and DeMint Op-Ed in The Daily Signal: ‘US Central America Policy Should Address Corrupt Nicaragua Regime’
Sen. Cruz, with Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, on Wednesday, penned an op-ed for The Daily Signal, outlining the recent fraudulent elections of Nicaragua’s president.
“He [Daniel Ortega] has been changing electoral rules and hijacking Nicaragua’s fragile institutions for years," Sen. Cruz and DeMint wrote. "One of his rule changes lowered the threshold of votes needed to win to 35 percent. He also successfully pushed a constitutional amendment removing presidential term limits. Meanwhile, his party and family control virtually all levers of power within the country.”
Cruz and DeMint continued: “Ortega should be put on notice that if he wants the benefits of commerce with the United States, he will have to enact some basic reforms—reforms which are actually in the best interests of his country. Our next president should demonstrate the strength to beat back the threats of communism, terrorism, and economic crisis in our hemisphere. Nicaragua and all freedom-loving people in Central America are depending on U.S. leadership.”
Read the op-ed in its entirety here.
Sen. Cruz Issues Statement on Senate Passage of 21st Century Cures Act
On Tuesday, Sen. Cruz released the following statement after voting for passage of the 21st Century Cures Act.
“One of the most powerful weapons we have to fight disease is American ingenuity, and I believe the 21st Century Cures Act will help our nation harness its resources to better seek and realize lifesaving cures and therapies. While this bill is far from perfect and Congress should continue to improve on its reforms, this legislation represents an important first step forward in removing barriers to effective medical treatment. I am encouraged that a seed for greater reform of the federal role in research and medical advances has been planted and believe this bill lays an important foundation for next year. I look forward to opportunities in the 115th Congress to continue working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with the new Republican administration on legislation, particularly the RESULT Act, that would take bold, commonsense steps in expediting the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval process and championing innovation.”
Read the full release online here.
- Last weekend, I was humbled to attend a Helping a Hero Welcome Ceremony honoring Sergeant Steve Land of San Antonio. Sgt. Land, a veteran of the War on Terror, was serving in Afghanistan when he was grievously injured. Sgt. Land, like all of our nation’s veterans, displayed tremendous courage to keep our country safe and secure. I remain forever grateful for patriots like Sgt. Land who answer the call of duty and risk everything they have to defend this nation.