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Sen. Cruz Issues Statement in Support of National Defense Authorization Act

Secures 16 wins in FY22 NDAA to protect America’s national security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement regarding his support for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA). In total, Sen. Cruz secured 16 wins to protect America’s national security:

“The NDAA is one of the most crucial pieces of legislation to come before Congress every year, and in it, we fulfill our Constitutional duty to equip our Armed Forces with the resources they need to defend America’s national security interests at home and abroad. This year’s bill contains many bipartisan victories for Texas and the nation, and I am honored to support our nation’s brave service members and their crucial mission.

“This year’s NDAA contains several provisions that I am proud to have championed, including millions of dollars in new construction projects that strengthen Texas bases and military communities at Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Hood, and Sheppard Air Force Base. It also fully funds key weapons systems like the F-35 and B-21 to ensure our military has the resources to project strength and defend our vital national security interests around the globe.

“This legislation also includes my CADET Act, a bill I introduced earlier this year to correct the unfair and antiquated policy at U.S. service academies that forces a midshipman or cadet who becomes pregnant or who fathers a child to either sign away the rights to the child, require an abortion, pay devastating financial responsibilities, or leave the academy altogether. My legislation was included in the NDAA to ensure that a midshipman or cadet enrolled in a service academy can retain legal guardianship of their child without unnecessary burdens and, most importantly, this provision will keep military families together.

“In addition, this year’s NDAA includes a provision I fought for that removes the ability for the military to dishonorably discharge service members who choose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As President Biden’s unlawful vaccine mandates are continually challenged, this reform prevents our brave servicemen and women from being punished like convicted criminals for simply making what they believe is the best medical decision for themselves. I will continue to fight to ensure that service members who refuse the vaccine are not punished for their private healthcare choices.

“Further, as the father of two daughters who may or may not choose to serve in the military, I have led the fight for the past nine years against the immoral effort to require women to register for the draft. I’m glad that we successfully removed this extreme proposal from the final bill, and the young women of our nation will not be forced into combat against their wishes.

“I am also pleased that the final NDAA does not include a misguided proposal to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of American citizens, specifically our service members, with the dangerous red flag provisions Democrats had included in the House version of the NDAA. 

“While there are a number of victories in this bill—both things that I fought for and achieved, and things that I fought to keep out—this bill, nevertheless, has significant failings. I am particularly troubled by four major problems with the final bill. 

“First, as Russia is preparing to launch an invasion into Ukraine, Senate Democrats stripped out a critical provision that would have imposed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, gifting a generational, geopolitical win to Putin. As we near the pipeline being brought online, not including sanctions on Nord Stream 2 means we are even closer to missing what could be our last opportunity to stop yet another Biden foreign policy catastrophe, thereby giving Putin a green light to devastate Ukraine.

“Second, I am also disappointed that many of the provisions from legislation that Sen. Gillibrand and I have worked on relentlessly for the past nine years to ensure cases of sexual assault and harassment in the military are handled by independent career military prosecutors were not included. It is imperative that victims of these heinous crimes can step forward without fear of retaliation, and while this NDAA does not include our entire proposal, the provision that was included is a step in the right direction toward assuring the men and women of our Armed Forces who come forward that justice will be served.

“Third, this bill does not go far enough to protect service members who refuse to bend a knee to Biden’s unlawful COVID vaccine mandate. Democrats have done a tremendous disservice to our men and women in uniform who have volunteered to defend this nation—giving them almost no protection from punishments if they don’t comply with Biden’s unlawful and authoritarian mandate, including threatening to remove the G.I. Bill benefits they’ve rightly earned. Treating unvaccinated service members like criminals is shameful.

“Fourth, this bill provides funding for politicized and divisive ‘diversity and inclusion’ programs, and proposes an entirely new article of the UCMJ on offenses related to so-called ‘violent extremism.’ This is a partisan initiative that its supporters intend to use to persecute conservatives in the military for their political and religious views. The military needs to focus on deterring and winning wars, not assisting the Democrat Party in its radical partisan agenda.

“I believe these failings are serious mistakes that are going to impose significant harm. However, on balance, the accomplishments in this bill merited my support, despite my deep misgivings with these specific problems.

“As the threats to our freedoms are never ceasing, I remain committed to fighting each and every day for the brave service members in Texas and across this great nation who secure those freedoms.”

BACKGROUND

Sen. Cruz secured 16 wins in the NDAA that champion Texas military communities as a pillar of America’s national security and advance America’s defense capabilities against our adversaries, including:

  • CADET Act with one year implementation timeline;
  • Prohibiting further reductions in B-1 bombers through 2023, which protects Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene;
  • Preventing a reduction in our nuclear arsenal;
  • Fully funding the B-21 program;
  • Supporting procurement for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps of 85 F-35 aircraft, which are made in Fort Worth;
  • Supporting additional funding for MQ-4 UAV’s, which are made in Red Oak Texas;
  • Fully funding the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program;
  • Expressing the sense of the Senate that the continued development of the ground-based strategic deterrent (GBSD) is necessary and in the national security interest of the United States;
  • Authorizing the purchases of Iron Dome, Arrow, and David’s Sling to support Israel.

Texas military bases also received funding for improvement projects, including:

Fort Hood:

  • Two new barracks buildings.

Joint Base San Antonio:

  • Two new Dormitories for recruits;
  • Two new Child Development Centers in Lackland Air Force Base and Ft. Sam;
  • Improvement to medical facilities;
  • Vehicle Maintenance Facility;
  • Kelly Field improvements.

Sheppard Air Force Base:

  • One new Child Development Center.

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