WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) filed seven amendments to the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019, to strengthen Texas’ military and space competitiveness and address national security threats abroad. Recently, the Senate Armed Services Committee completed the markup process for the NDAA FY19, which included over 30 provisions led by Sen. Cruz.
“One of the most important obligations of Congress is to ensure our military is properly equipped and funded to protect and serve our country, and the NDAA provides us with the opportunity to do that,” Sen. Cruz said. “I am proud of the great work we accomplished during the Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup, yet there remain crucial gaps that need to be filled in order for Texas’ military communities to be well positioned for the future, and to confront our national security challenges abroad. I remain committed to working hard for the servicemen and women of Texas, and to ensure our country’s national security threats are addressed.”
Sen. Cruz filed the following amendments to directly benefit Texas and its military and space competitiveness efforts:
Core Sampling at Joint Base San Antonio: Sen. Cruz’s amendment would require the Air Force to conduct core sampling along designated routes located along the proposed W-6 pipeline in order to identify hazardous substances present in the soil.
Houston Spaceport: Sen. Cruz’s amendment would incorporate cities designate as U.S. spaceports, including Houston, that support national security operations and missions as eligible candidates for the Secretary of Defense’s program to modernize infrastructure and help prepare for the launch of national security space vehicles.
Red River Army Depot: Sen. Cruz’s amendment would direct the Secretary of the U.S. Army to provide Congress with a report on the labor hours and depot maintenance conducted by Depots. This amendment directs the Army to evaluate how it is planning for future workforce requirements at Depots; evaluate what work is being given to other Depots contrary to the Army’s guidance; and to evaluate bringing work such as from the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies into Army Depots.
Sen. Cruz filed the following amendments to strengthen the United States’ national security interests abroad:
Briefing on China’s Activities in Djibouti: Sen. Cruz’s amendment would require briefings from the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State to on China’s continued efforts to expand their influence in Djibouti and the surrounding region and to cause harm to our service members.
Iranian Influence in Iraq: Sen. Cruz’s amendment would require briefings to be reported to Congress by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State on the assistance provided to the Ministry of the Interior of Iraq under the Iraq Train and Equip Fund are not disbursed to groups affiliated with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or other state sponsors of terrorism.
Liu Xiaobo Plaza: Sen. Cruz’s amendment reinforces his long-time efforts to secure the release of Liu Xia, wife of deceased Dr. Liu Xiaobo, from imprisonment in China. Additionally, this amendment would rename will rename the plaza located in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. as ‘Liu Xiaobo Plaza.’
National Nuclear Security Administration: Sen. Cruz’s amendment would reverse a change proposed by the Senate Armed Services Committee which would have the effect of reducing the Department of Energy’s oversight over the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). By deleting this section and restoring these checks and balances, the Congress would ensure that the Secretary of Energy maintains oversight of critical matters of health, safety, security requirements and ensure proper governance over this important agency.