Floor Speech

Date: July 13, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. COOPER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 7900, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023. Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Rogers have put together an outstanding piece of legislation.

I also thank my ranking member, Mr. Lamborn, for his tremendous cooperation throughout the year and all the members of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces for their valuable contributions to the bill.

This bill strengthens our national security at a time when our country is facing new and evolving threats in almost every theater. This bill takes care of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and guardians, and it invests in the tools that we need to protect ourselves, our allies, and our partners, as well as to deter our strategic competitors.

The Subcommittee on Strategic Forces has within its jurisdiction some of the most technical, complex, and consequential issues involved in our national security. At the top of that list are nuclear weapons. It is absolutely essential that American nuclear forces and their command and control infrastructure remain safe, secure, and reliable.

This bill makes certain that the Departments of Defense and Energy are well positioned for the immense task of sustaining our legacy forces while also recapitalizing our nuclear enterprise for the next 70 years.

This bill ensures that both Departments are pursuing balanced approaches, emphasizing deterrence but also nonproliferation and arms control. We must remain focused on the highest priority efforts and realistic in our plans for future programs. Plutonium pit production is a prime example of where greater realism is needed.

Regarding space, the subcommittee this year focused on the ability of China and Russia to degrade and destroy our national security satellites. This bill presses the Department to publicly release a strategy on how they will defend our on-orbit assets. It also requires the new Space Force to continue tactically responsive space efforts, authorizes additional funds to do so, and encourages increased competition within phase 3.

Please support H.R. 7900.


Mr. COOPER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the Foster amendment.


To the average Member, this may sound complicated, but it is all about nuclear testing. We need to stop North Korea and other nations from doing nuclear testing, and if they do, then we need a trusted international source to monitor exactly what they are doing.

It does not help us in America to be blind, and it does not help the House of Representatives to blindly follow what the Senate does, particularly Senate inaction, because the other body is notoriously unable to conduct its work.

The important fact that Members need to know is: all of the heads of our national labs say that we do not need to test. The heads of Sandia, Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Oak Ridge certify annually. We do not need to test, and we need to stop other nations who are trying to test.

This amendment helps us stop those other nations. This amendment helps us stop North Korea. This amendment helps us stop other rogue nations and major powers like China and Russia from testing.

Mr. Speaker, let's support the Foster amendment, and let's keep America strong. This is a very important principle for us to stand up for, and I thank Mr. Foster for offering this important amendment.