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May 22, 2015

Greetings,

As we approach Memorial Day, let us never forget the sacrifice of those who shed their blood so that we might remain free. This Monday, scattered petals throughout the land remind us of liberty born anew because of their sacrifice.

I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on this incredible gift of freedom, and to remember all those we’ve lost in battles to preserve it.

Keep Texas strong,

TC Sig
Ted Cruz

 

Sen. Cruz Receives Bipartisan Support for NDAA Amendments

Last week, Sen. Cruz applauded the passage of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). He introduced or cosponsored more than a dozen amendments that were successfully adopted by the committee. 

“Congress' first priority is to provide for the national defense and ensure our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have everything they need to defend our freedom,” said Sen. Cruz. “I am grateful for the committee's support for my amendments, including measures that will ensure the readiness of our troops, support for our allies, and continued vigilance against our adversaries. This bipartisan legislation reflects the dedication this committee has to our men and women in uniform. I am honored to have worked with my colleagues to achieve the important reforms in this legislation and look forward to its consideration on the Senate floor. There are certainly provisions that I believe can be improved further to guarantee we have the best trained and equipped military in the world.”

The amendments Sen. Cruz sponsored include the following. View the full list here.

  • Renewable Energy Obstructions near Military Installations helps each branch of the military obtain more direct input into the decisions of the Department of Defense (DoD) Siting Clearinghouse during its assessment of renewable energy projects near military facilities. 
  • National Guard Full Time Operational Status modifications will improve the efficiency of the National Guard by requiring the National Guard Bureau to account for states that over-recruit to meet the National Guard's overall end strength. The National Guard routinely asks Texas to recruit beyond designated levels; and Texans unequivocally answer that call. 
  • Iranian Cyber Capabilities Reporting expands the existing Annual Report on the Military Power of Iran to include an assessment on Iran's rapidly developing offensive and defensive cyber warfare capabilities.
  • Space-Based Missile Defense requests an assessment from the Missile Defense Agency on the research and development of a space-based missile defense capability and its potential role in the layered ballistic missile defense system the U.S. currently possesses. A space-based component is critical to pursue given the increasing global threat environment. This capability would provide additional engagement time and intercept opportunities for the U.S. and better protect the American people, our allies, and our forward-deployed forces.

Sen. Cruz Delivers Statement on Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act

Sen. Ted Cruz Gives Remarks at Commerce Hearing
Click to view video

On Wednesday, Sen. Cruz delivered the following statement at an executive session of the Senate Commerce Committee. The Cruz-Nelson-Peters Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act was reported out of committee for consideration by the full U.S. Senate.

“Today we build upon the Commercial Space Launch Act that was first signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and last amended in 2004,” said Sen. Cruz. “Since becoming the Chairman of the Space, Science, and Competitiveness subcommittee I have made it a priority to carry forth President Reagan’s vision of producing a stronger and more efficient launch capability for the United States that will contribute to continued American leadership in space.

“Thanks to the leadership and bipartisan support of Ranking Member Nelson, Ranking Member Peters, Senator Rubio and Senator Gardner we have produced a bill for this committee’s consideration and that was just adopted by this committee that all of us can be proud of, and that has received support from 20 organizations in the space industry. Our legislation reflects the needs of a changing and growing industry and aims to encourage the competitiveness of the U.S. commercial space industry while recognizing the vital role the private sector plays along with NASA. I commend the committee and I commend the Chairman for this bipartisan legislation moving forward.”

The bill extends the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024 and ensures stability for the continued development and growth of the U.S. commercial space sector. View more details here.

 

Sen. Cruz Sends Letter to Defense Secretary Requesting Information about Iran 

On Friday, Sen. Cruz, joined by Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and David Perdue (R-Ga.), sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter expressing strong concern over the ongoing publication delay of the Defense Department’s Annual Report on the Military Power of Iran. 

“In the context of the ongoing P5+1 negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran over that nation’s nuclear program and its potential military dimensions, we believe it is imperative that this report be published as quickly as possible,” the senators wrote. “We are concerned that the negotiations fail to recognize the inherent dangers of a nuclear Iran, particularly given the regime’s repeated genocidal threats against America and our close ally Israel.” 

Read the full letter here. 

 

A Regional Update from South Central Texas Regional Director Michael Koerner

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This week, I had the opportunity to travel throughout the region. In San Antonio, I had the distinct honor of presenting a letter from Sen. Cruz to a Central Catholic High School student congratulating him on his recent appointment to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. While in the city, I was also pleased to serve as a judge for the San Antonio Tea Party's first annual Constitutional Scholarship.

Then, I headed to Corpus Christi to continue our monthly mobile outreach efforts and met with local officials and leaders in the community. 

And the final stop was El Paso, where I attended the Borderplex Trade Alliance and City of El Paso's sister city signing ceremony—this is an opportunity for the city of El Paso to partner with the city of Hadera, Israel in an effort to promote global investment and cultural exchange programs.

 

Central Texas Office
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Phone: (512) 916-5834

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Washington Office
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Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5922

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Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

ALERT ALERT

 Judge Orders Mueller To Prove  Russia Meddled In Election 

Judge Dabney L. Friedrich

A Washington federal judge on Thursday ordered special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to clarify election meddling claims lodged against a Russian company operated by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Bloomberg.

Concord Management and Consulting, LLC. – one of three businesses indicted by Mueller in February along with 13 individuals for election meddling, surprised the special counsel in April when they actually showed up in court to fight the charges. Mueller’s team tried to delay Concord from entering the case, arguing that thee Russian company not been properly served, however Judge Dabney Friedrich denied the request – effectively telling prosecutors ‘well, they’re here.’

Concord was accused in the indictment of supporting the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian ‘troll farm’ accused of trying to influence the 2016 US election.

On Thursday, Judge Freidrich asked Mueller’s prosecutors if she should assume they aren’t accusing Concord of violating US laws applicable to election expenditures and failure to register as a foreign agent.

Concord has asked Dabney to throw out the charges – claiming that Mueller’s office fabricated a crime, and that there is no law against interfering in elections.

According to the judge’s request for clarification, the Justice Department has argued that it doesn’t have to show that Concord had a legal duty to report its expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. Rather, the allegation is that the company knowingly engaged in deceptive acts that precluded the FEC, or the Justice Department, from ascertaining whether they had broken the law. -Bloomberg

On Monday, Friedrich raised questions over whether the special counsel’s office could prove a key element of their case – saying that it was “hard to see” how allegations of Russian influence were intended to interfere with US government operations vs. simply “confusing voters,” reports law.com.

During a 90-minute hearing, Friedrich questioned prosecutor Jonathan Kravis about how the government would be able to show the Russian defendants were aware of the Justice Department and FEC’s functions and then deliberately sought to skirt them.

“You still have to show knowledge of the agencies and what they do. How do you do that?” Friedrich asked.

Kravis, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, argued that the government needed only to show that Concord Management and the other defendants were generally aware that the U.S. government “regulates and monitors” foreign participation in American politics. That awareness, Kravis said, could be inferred from the Russians’ alleged creation of fake social media accounts that appeared to be run by U.S. citizens and “computer infrastructure” intended to mask the Russian origin of the influence operation.

“That is deception that is directed at a higher level,” Kravis said. Kravis appeared in court with Michael Dreeben, a top Justice Department appellate lawyer on detail to the special counsel’s office. -law.com

Concord pleaded not guilty in May. Their attorney, Eric Dubelier – a partner at Reed Smith, has described the election meddling charges as “make believe,” arguing on Monday that Mueller’s indictment against Concord “doesn’t charge a crime.”

“There is no statute of interfering with an election. There just isn’t,” said Dubelier, who added that Mueller’s office alleged a “made-up crime to fit the facts they have.”

Dubelier added that the case against Concord Management is the first in US history “where anyone has ever been charged with defrauding the Justice Department” through their failure to register under FARA.

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