By Congressman TJ Cox

America’s men and women in uniform sacrifice so much for our nation. That is why this week, I joined my colleagues in voting in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which in addition to defending our nation and protecting America’s interests abroad, has strong provisions that support our troops.

Our service members are our nation’s very best, and they deserve fair wages, accommodations, and safe places to live and raise their families.

The 21st Congressional District is home to the Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore – the largest Master Jet Base in the U.S. Navy and has close to 1,600 government homes located inside the base. In order to ensure our military families have the peace of mind they deserve, our NDAA legislation requires landlords to provide a tenant bill of rights for privatized military housing. More importantly, the bill authorizes a 3.1 percent pay raise for our servicemembers. I’m committed to safeguarding our nations’ strong national defense priorities and fighting for the benefits that our military families deserve.

Capitol Hill Highlights

Voted YES on H.R. 2500, the National Defense Reauthorization Act  

The full NDAA is a responsible national defense authorization bill that approves the funding needed for a strong, national defense strategy. It authorizes $733 billion for the Department of Defense and defense-related activities of the Department of Energy, as well as Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO), which fully meets our nation’s needs.

Among its many provisions the bill will:

Voted YES on H.R. 1327, to Extend Authorization for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 through Fiscal Year 2090

The House voted this week for the passage of the bipartisan 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) through Fiscal Year 2090. Our 9/11 heroes should never be forgotten, and this legislation ensures that those who helped rescue victims and respond to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and aftermath, receive the compensation they deserve. This legislation will:

Voted YES on H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

My colleagues and I overwhelmingly voted for the passage of the bipartisan Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. This bill amends the “per-country” limits on the issuance of immigrant visas (i.e. green cards). These limits currently restrict nationals of any one country from obtaining more than 7 percent of the total number of immigrant visas provided by the statute to employment and family-based immigrants.

This legislation will phase out the per-country limits for employment-based immigrants over three years, making the employment-based system responsive on a first-come, first served basis regardless of nationality. The bill is intended to even out current backlogs and soften the impacts felt by specific nationalities.

In light of concerning reports regarding immigration enforcement, I want to ensure my constituents are aware of their rights and resources should they be detained by law enforcement. If you or someone you know is being held or questioned, make sure you know your rights.

All individuals, regardless of their legal status, have constitutional rights, and I will continue to advocate and fight for my constituents to ensure their rights are not violated. You can always call my Selma office at (559) 460-6070 if you need immediate assistance.

This week my colleagues on the Rural Broadband Task Force and I met with FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks to discuss the importance of making broadband accessible in rural communities across our nation. It’s critical for us to ensure that communities such as those in the Central Valley have access to affordable broadband to attract and retain our millennials and foster economic growth. 

I was proud to introduce H.R. 3647, the Impact Aid and Infrastructure Act, with Congressman Don Young of Alaska. This bipartisan piece of legislation would invest in facilities of federally impacted school districts by providing a one-time infusion of funds into the Impact Aid construction program to address the backlog of facility needs in specific school districts. My bill would ensure these school districts have access to infrastructure funding they need to provide quality education to their students. Watch me speak about my bill here.