Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper Will Continue Working Toward “Establishment of a True Space Corps”

Jul 26, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), one of two Tennessee representatives serving on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), today spoke on the House Floor and pledged his support for the National Defense Authorization Act. During his remarks, he vowed to continue working toward “the establishment of a true Space Corps or Space Force.”

Rep. Cooper is Ranking Member of HASC’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee, which oversees America’s nuclear weapons, ballistic missile defense, national security space programs, and Department of Energy national security programs.

A video of Rep. Cooper’s floor speech can be found HERE and a transcript of his remarks is below.

I would like to thank all members of the conference committee for their record-breaking work on this National Defense Authorization Act. This bill supports national security, so I am pleased to support the bill.

I particularly would like to thank my good friend Chairman Rogers for his bipartisan leadership of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee.

In addition to authorizing core missions of our nuclear forces to provide a strong deterrent, this defense authorization bill:

  • Mandates an independent study on increasing the decision time before the President can use nuclear weapons,
  •  Allows negotiations for extending the New START Treaty to maintain binding limits on the number of strategic nuclear weapons that Russia can deploy,
  •  Drops a provision that would have all but separated the Nuclear Security Administration from the Department of Energy in direct contradiction of expert recommendations, and  
  •  Allows the Department of Energy to continue terminating the failed and unaffordable MOX boondoggle. 

The bill supports effective missile defense efforts, including pressing for near-term solutions such as boost-phase missile defense using kinetic interceptors. It increases accountability for the acquisition of expensive interceptors. And, of course, we support US-Israeli missile defense.

Finally, I strongly commend Chairman Rogers’s leadership in strengthening our ability to defend our assets in space against increasing threats. This bill creates a sub-unified command for space; continues oversight of warfighting readiness; presses for more rapid and agile acquisition processes; and mandates a plan for improving our space capabilities. I look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Rogers and others toward the establishment of a true Space Corps or Space Force. 

Thank you again and I urge support for this bill.