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National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2019

Floor Speech

By: Ted Cruz
By: Ted Cruz
Date: Dec. 18, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CRUZ. Mr. President, in a few moments, I am going to ask unanimous consent for the Senate to pass S. 2800, which is the bipartisan NASA Authorization Act. Before doing so, I want to make some brief remarks about how important this legislation is to American leadership in space and to our continued space exploration efforts.

Well over a year ago, I joined with Chairman Wicker, Ranking Member Cantwell, and Subcommittee on Aviation and Space Ranking Member Sinema, and we began writing the NASA Authorization Act, using as a foundation the bipartisan bill that I had previously authored with Senators Cornyn, Rubio, Markey, and then-Senator Bill Nelson, from the last Congress, as our starting point. We solicited input from hundreds of stakeholders, from individuals and academics to industry partners and even our international allies. Hundreds of pages of suggestions, proposed edits, and comments were submitted. Over many months, our staffs worked diligently through each and every submission, trying to incorporate the feedback to the greatest extent possible, and what resulted is this bill, which was marked up last year and unanimously reported.

What we have achieved together is legislation that enjoys deep and broad bipartisan support and that sets bold goals for NASA and the United States in space. It provides the direction and the infrastructure necessary to meet them. I am very proud of the work we have done together and of this legislation we have assembled, and I want to express particular thanks to Senators Wicker, Cantwell, and Sinema and to their staffs for their hard work.

Our bill strengthens U.S. leadership in space, ensuring that we remain the default space exploration partner of the world. It extends the life of the International Space Station through 2030, and it challenges us to be the international leader for lunar and Mars exploration and to reach new horizons.

It is not just human exploration, though. By working in a collegial and good-faith manner, we were able to craft a product that strengthens all of NASA's core missions--something which benefits not just States with strong NASA equities but every American. It is amazing what strong, unified leadership can do to bring the Members of this body together, working to pass vitally important legislation that advances science and technology and national security and the interests of our Nation.

I want to say again how grateful I am to my colleagues who worked on this bill with me and to state just how proud I am that the Senate is speaking with one, unified voice in passing this legislation. This is following a tradition that we have seen in the past 8 years I have served in this body, where, on the question of space, we have seen over and over again strong bipartisan cooperation. Even at a time when partisan division pulls us apart in so many other areas, on the question of America's leading the world in space, the U.S. Senate speaks with one voice.

We have a real opportunity here to boldly shape the Nation's space exploration efforts, to inspire new generations of little boys and little girls gazing up at the stars and wondering what is out there, and to make the United States a true space-faring nation.

While this bill is not going to pass the House of Representatives during the remainder of this Congress, I look forward to the beginning of the next Congress, where we can use this unanimously approved legislation as the starting point to move quickly to pass a comprehensive NASA Authorization Act across the finish line and get it signed into law

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Mr. CRUZ. Therefore, as if in legislative session, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of Calendar No. 525, S. 2800.

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