Annual Defense Bill Includes Key Bipartisan, Cruz-Led Priorities

July 27, 2023

Annual Defense Bill Includes Key Bipartisan, Cruz-Led Priorities


Cruz Provisions Will Expedite Permitting Approvals for Semiconductor Factories & Give Consumers Disclosure on Home Appliance Recording Devices


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) released the following statements after two key provisions he worked to introduce —one to streamline environmental permits for federally-funded semiconductor manufacturing plants and a second one to require labels for smart devices or appliances with built-in cameras and microphones — were included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).


In a major victory for chip manufacturers in Texas and across the nation, Sen. Cruz worked closely with Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) to introduce and include bipartisan language that would dramatically expedite construction for semiconductor manufacturing plants by removing burdensome hurdles to achieving environmental reviews and permits.


Sen. Cruz said:


“I am proud to have worked with Sen. Mark Kelly to help remove burdensome environmental permitting review hurdles for CHIP manufacturing plants. This language will help Texas, already the nation’s leading chip producer, continue to grow this burgeoning industry and bring more jobs to the Lone Star State while boosting America’s economic and national security.”


Sen. Kelly added:


“By cutting through the red tape to prevent delays of microchip manufacturing projects, this is going to maximize the impact of the CHIPS Act to create good-paying jobs, reduce our reliance on foreign supply chains, and strengthen our national security. And it does that while maintaining bedrock environmental protections for clean air and water. We got this passed by working together as Republicans and Democrats to find common ground and get things done. And although there’s still a road ahead of us to get it passed in the House, I am confident that our strong bipartisan coalition will work hand-in-hand with our cosponsors in the House to get the Building Chips in America Act across the finish line.” 


The NDAA also includes language Sen. Cruz introduced with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) to disclose if an appliance has audio or visual recording components. Without proper labeling, many consumers aren’t aware of the growing number of household devices and appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, and even air fryers that have cameras or microphones capable of recording them, or Wi-Fi capability for transmitting data without their knowledge.


Sen. Cruz said:


“Today, internet-connected smart devices connect light bulbs, mirrors, air fryers, coffeemakers, trash cans, kitchen faucets, refrigerators, and much more. Many consumers would be surprised to know that one of the potential trade-offs for such convenience is their privacy, and that the growing number of smart household devices and appliances have cameras and microphones that can surreptitiously record their families and transmit data without their knowledge. I am proud that my legislation has passed the Commerce Committee and will be included in this year’s defense bill because Americans have a right to know if their appliances are spying on them.”


Learn more about Sen. Cruz’s fight to deliver transparency for consumers HERE.