The House held a vote today on the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, but some members voted against the measure.
One nay vote came from freshman Florida rep. Michael Waltz (R), who commented shortly after on why he said no.
In a statement, Waltz explained that he “was glad we were able to agree on many issues in this markup, as well as approve my own amendments and priorities like establishing a U.S. Space Command and taking steps towards a U.S. Space Force.”
However, Waltz noted that “unfortunately, we were unable to strip many politically-charged policies weakening our national defense, border security, force readiness and capabilities to protect our allies.”
He stated that he “could not support a package giving less to our military than they need and deserve.”
Today’s vote confirms that a United States Space Corps will be established within the Department of the Air Force, and after a 21-hour session the House Armed Services Committee passed the NDAA 33-24.
Chairman of the HASC Strategic Forces Subcommittee rep. Jim Cooper (D) and Ranking Member rep. Mike Rogers (R) introduced the Space Corps amendment, and the proposal is similar to the committee’s proposal in 2018, which includes the name of the space service – U.S. Space Corps rather than the Trump administration’s preference of the U.S. Space Force.
A four-star Commandant would be leading the Space Corps much like the Marine Corps, and it would be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Further commenting on his vote, Waltz expressed that “our troops risk their lives defending our freedoms and our country and it’s absolutely critical we give them all the resources they need to do that effectively.”
In addition, Waltz shared that “our work can never stop for them – and I’ll make sure to keep fighting for their interests in the final version of this bill and long after that.”