Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the Senate’s passage of the FY21 NDAA, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) highlighted several victories in the bill that champion Texas military communities as a pillar in America’s national security objectives and which will shore up America’s defense capabilities against our adversaries – including China and Russia. In total, Sen. Cruz secured 21 wins to protect America’s national security.
As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Cruz said:
“I’m pleased my colleagues have introduced a strong bipartisan measure to fulfill our Constitutional responsibility to provide for the national defense. For 59 consecutive years, Congress has been able to set aside partisan bickering and come together to strengthen America’s national security. This year is no different. The NDAA advances America’s national security objectives by putting our adversaries on notice, providing our troops a well-deserved pay raise, and investing in the next generation of innovative technology, equipment, and weaponry.
“Our dependence on China for life-saving medications and treatments is deeply problematic. That’s why I’m glad the Senate has included my bipartisan bill with Sen. Coons to expand medical partnerships with our friend and ally Israel, as we work together to develop coronavirus treatments and medications.
“I’ll continue working with my colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations committee to ensure America remains a beacon of freedom.”
In order to counter Russian aggression and decouple the U.S. medical supply from China, Sen. Cruz secured the following provisions in the FY21 NDAA:
- Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act: Clarifies that U.S. sanctions related to the construction of the Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2 will apply to vessels engaged in all pipe-laying activities, as well as to those who facilitate providing those vessels, as well as to those who provide insurance, port facilities, or tethering services for those vessels, and ultimately to any company that provides certification for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to begin operations.
- Expanding Medical Partnerships with Israel to Lessen Dependence on China Act: Enhances partnerships between companies in the U.S. and Israel to develop innovative medical projects aimed at detecting, treating, and curing COVID-19 and lessen U.S. dependence on China for life-saving medications and treatments.
As chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, Sen. Cruz secured the following provisions to strengthen U.S. national security:
- Leveraging Commercial Satellite Remote Sensing: introduces fiscal responsibility into the DoD and Intelligence Community’s (IC) satellite acquisition process by requiring the use of commercial American remote sensing services, when those American companies are capable of meeting the requirements of the DoD and IC missions, instead of DoD or the IC building, launching, and operating government-owned satellites.
- Minimum Bomber Aircraft: Sets a minimum number of aircraft the Air Force must maintain in the bomber fleet. Dyess Air Force Base is home to B-1 squadrons that are critical to our national defense. Sen. Cruz is continuing to work with SASC and the AF to further improve B-1 readiness and ensure the bomber fleet is maintained at an appropriate level until a sufficient number of B-21s are combat capable.
- Liquid Drainage Floor Assemblies Study: Establishes a study on floor drainage systems to prevent fires on military bases without using harmful chemicals.
- Per- and Polyflouroalkyl Substance (PFAS) Contamination Study: Establishes a CDC study on the effects of PFAS contamination of drinking water, an issue that affects multiple military installations and surrounding communities in Texas.
- Site Clearing House Improvement: Further empowers the Site Clearing House to conduct a more thorough review of wind farm construction near bases. Pilot training operations at Laughlin, Dyess, Goodfellow, Kingsville, and Corpus Christi have been threatened by a growing number of wind farms in South and West Texas.
- Consideration of risks from Huawei and ZTE 5G Infrastructure: Requires a detailed report of the Department of Defense’s problematic touchpoints with Chinese telecommunication companies and mitigation measures.
- Direct Hire of Depot Maintenance: Empowers Red River Army Depot and Laughlin Air Force Base with required facilities personnel to keep up with operational demand.
- Improvement of the Operational Energy Capability Improvement Fund: Provides $65 million for secure fuels.
- F-35 Funding: Fully funds the F-35 program above the President’s budget request, providing 5th generation fighters to our military. The F-35, built in Texas, is the best fighter aircraft in the world and is key to defending freedom around the world.
- Red River Army Depots: Provides funding for high-mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV) Recapitalization Program at Red River Army Depot and for modification of in-service equipment at Red River Army Depot. Sen. Cruz is continuing to work with colleagues to ensure this is accomplished at Red River Army Depot where the Army is able to most efficiently and economically modify its in-service equipment and improve the safety of its operators.