What the Defense Bill Means for Texas
Cornyn Secures Provisions in NDAA to Support Military Readiness
Today, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) voted in support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023. Sen. Cornyn secured multiple priorities to support Texas military instillations, servicemembers, and ongoing national security efforts. You can read the legislation here, and below is a summary of its impact on Texas.
Sen. Cornyn’s Legislation Included in the Bill:
- Protecting our Servicemembers through Proven Methods Act: Gives military commanders the tools that they need to improve interpersonal violence prevention efforts within the Department of Defense (DoD) by directing the DoD to collect data on the causes behind sexual assault, harassment, and domestic violence in the military. This legislation builds upon Sen. Cornyn’s ServicememberSafety and Security Act, included in the Fiscal Year 2022 NDAA, to strengthen military commanders’ ability to work with local and federal civilian enforcement and respond if a service member is reported absent without leave or missing.
- Texas Coastal Spine Authorization Act: Authorizes the construction of the coastal barrier protection system known as the Coastal Spine, a large-scale coastal storm risk management and ecosystem restoration project that will help protect Texas’s coast from storm damage. Sen. Cornyn introduced the legislation earlier this year with Sen. Cruz and Representative Randy Weber (TX-14), which was included in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). This year’s NDAA includes numerous provisions from WRDA.
- DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act: Instructs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to develop a plan that helps identify, breach, and remediate illicit cross-border tunnels. The legislation also requires CBP to conduct a resource assessment to determine the technology and staffing needs necessary for this strategic plan’s implementation, and report to Congress on CBP’s implementation progress after one year.
Other Texas-Specific Provisions include:
- Raises troops’ pay by 4.6%.
- Authorizes $315 million for military construction projects in Texas, including:
- $55 million to the Corpus Christi Army Depot new powertrain facility;
- $15 million to Fort Bliss in El Paso for a new fire station;
- $182.4 million to Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA):
- $5.4 million to JBSA-Lackland to complete the Basic Military Training recruit dormitory;
- $29 million to JBSA-Randolph for a new child development center;
- $58 million to JBSA for an ambulatory care center replacement;
- $90 million to JBSA for a new Basic Military Training recruit dormitory.
- $53 million to Fort Hood in Killeen:
- $600,000 for an automated infantry squad battle course;
- $1.2 million for an automated infantry platoon battle course;
- $1.2 million for an automated multipurpose machine gun range ;
- $19 million for Army barracks;
- $31 million for power generation and microgrid operations.
- $9.6 million to the Army Reserve Center in Conroe for power generation and microgrid operations.
- Includes an additional $4 billion to maintain air superiority and support the production rate, modernization, and readiness of the F-35 fleet built at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth.
- Provides additional funding to Texas school districts with children of military personnel.
- Supports Texas job creation with:
- More than $1 billion for Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) to be built in Fort Worth;
- $688 million for Paladin Integrated Management to provide Texas soldiers at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss modernized ABCT self-propelled howitzers;
- Nearly $1.8 billion for B-21 Raiders, many of which will be based out of Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene;
- And more than $650 million for F-16 Fighting Falcons, which will be made in Texas.
- ncludes language to allow land that is under long-term lease contracts to the Department of Defense to be available for Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) funds. Currently, only land owned by DoD can use these funds. This new language allows cities such as El Paso to be eligible for this funding.