Commerce Committee Approves Cruz Bills on Veterans and Smart Devices

March 22, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued the following statements after the Committee advanced with strong bipartisan support this morning two of his bills, the CADETS Act and the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act. Both measures now go to the full Senate for consideration.

The first piece of legislation, the Changing Age-Determined Eligibility to Student Incentive Payments (CADETS) Act, introduced with Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), would expand the age of eligibility for the Student Incentive Payment Program at the Maritime Administration. The program gives financial assistance to cadets who attend one of six state maritime academies and who commit to a post-graduation service obligation. Current program age requirements prohibit cadets older than 25 from participating in the program. However, many former military veterans and service members attend these state academies, but most of these cadets are too old to qualify for aid. As a result, older student veterans do not qualify for the program.

On the passage of the CADETS Act, Sen. Cruz said:

“Raising the age limit to receive financial assistance for those attending America’s prestigious maritime academies like Texas A&M Maritime will mean more opportunities for our nation’s veterans and boost academy programs that protect our nation’s security and economic interests. I was pleased to join Senator Gary Peters in introducing the CADETS Act to expand eligibility for the Student Incentive Program. Ensuring we continue to recruit and train the most capable and deserving men and women to operate commercial shipping vessels is vital to a thriving maritime infrastructure.”

The second piece of legislation, the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act, introduced with Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), would require the FTC to create reasonable disclosure guidelines for products that have audio or visual recording components, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers and dishwashers. Many consumers don’t realize the growing number of household devices and appliances that have cameras or microphones capable of recording them, or Wi-Fi capability for transmitting data without their knowledge.

Following passage of the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act, Sen. Cruz said:

“American consumers have the right to know if their privacy is invaded by devices in their homes. I am proud to have worked with Chairwoman Cantwell to introduce this important legislation to protect the privacy of American families, and look forward to seeing the Informing Consumers about Smart Devices Act pass the full Senate.”