Highlights Space Force, Nuclear Triad, the USS Frank E. Evans Act, and ‘Unacceptable’ Attempts to Delay the Vote
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator and Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) member Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) delivered remarks on the U.S. Senate floor today about the importance of passing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“The primary obligation of Congress is to ‘provide for the common defense’ of our nation,” Senator Cramer said to begin his remarks. “For the past 57 years, we have met this obligation primarily through the NDAA. With this bipartisan legislation, we provide our armed forces the resources and authorities they need. This bill keeps America on track by confronting the readiness crisis in our military branches.”
Throughout the speech, Senator Cramer addressed several of his defense and military priorities.
On the NDAA’s Importance to North Dakota:
“Our military community is a foundational element of our state. To us, the NDAA is not arbitrary funding numbers for abstract aircraft and equipment. This legislation supports those in North Dakota who defend our nation at home and around the globe. We are honored by the outsized role our patriots play in the defense of our nation and the cause of liberty.”
On Delaying the Vote:
“Apparently, some in this body would rather bypass budget negotiations and pass a Continuing Resolution. Others want to delay passage of this important priority until later in the year. We cannot simply kick the can down the road. Passing a CR is handing our military community months of uncertainty and anxiety, and could nullify much of the work we are doing here today, such as improving the livelihood of our service members. And delaying passage to accommodate the political ambitions of a few of our Democratic colleagues is simply unacceptable and should be dismissed as quickly as it was suggested.”
On Supporting Active Duty Service Members:
“This NDAA seeks to improve the livelihood of our volunteer military force, with benefits such as the largest pay raise in a decade and assistance for military spouses looking for work or hoping to retain their job after being relocated. We also included language encouraging the Air National Guard to provide tuition assistance.”
On Bolstering the Nuclear Triad:
“Madam President, deterrence works. It has always worked. Deterrence has been supported by Republican and Democratic administrations. Eliminating a leg of the deterrence does not eliminate the threat; the world does not become a safer place when we remove what keeps us safe. If we defied history and the military community by unilaterally weakening our superior arsenal, as some in the House propose, we would be placing the fate of the world in the hands of our adversaries.”
On Adding the USS Frank E. Evans Act:
“I submitted an amendment to honor the ‘Lost 74’: the 74 Vietnam veterans who died in the sinking of the USS Frank E. Evans overseas in between combat missions, but whose names are not included on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. This year marks 50 years since they were killed off the coast of Vietnam while serving our nation. Congress passed this legislation last year in the House NDAA, but it failed to be added in Conference. This year I moved from the House to the Senate, and so did this bill. It has received overwhelming bipartisan support from my colleagues here and from constituents across the country. However, the bureaucrats in Washington remain firmly opposed. … Madam President, their excuses are insufficient. The Lost 74 and the families they left behind deserve better than this, and I have no plans to quit fighting for them.”
On Creating a Space Force:
“The idea of the Space Force will become a reality with this year’s NDAA. The establishment process will be incremental and require oversight, but our first step must set the conditions to ensure its success.”