Monday, June 15, 2009
Trent Franks Champions Missile Defense
Legislation Would Restore Funds for Ground-based Midcourse Defense System
June 12, 2009 - The Strategic Forces Subcommittee yesterday passed by voice vote the portion of the defense bill that includes a $1.2 billion cut from last year’s ballistic missile defense appropriated level. The Republicans on the Strategic Forces Subcommittee vowed to fight to restore funds next Tuesday when the Full Committee considers the entire defense bill. While the Democrats increased funding for theater missile defense, there was a $500 million cut to the portion of the system that specifically protects the homeland from missiles from North Korea and Iran.
Congressmen Trent Franks (R-AZ), founder and co-chair of the Bi-Partisan Missile Defense Caucus (MDC), today was joined by Mike Turner (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, and the co-chairs of the MDC, Parker Griffith (D-AL), Jim Marshall (D-GA), Pete Sessions (R- TX), and Doug Lamborn (R-CO), in introducing H.R. 2845 to fully fund this system to last year’s appropriated level.
Franks said, “The equation is simple. The threat to the United States from ballistic missiles is increasing, and due to this Administration, our ballistic missile defenses are decreasing. Mr. Obama's Missile Defense budget cuts are forcing a false choice on our military and our nation: Should the federal government offer protection for our forward deployed troops and our allies from short range ballistic missiles OR should the federal government offer protection to the American people from North Korean or Iranian missiles? We must do both. I fully support robustly funding theater ballistic missile defense, but this must not occur at the expense of homeland missile defense.
"It confounds me that this Administration can find $787 billion in projects for a “stimulus bill” but cannot find $500 million for ballistic missile defense to protect the homeland when Iran and North Korea are making tremendous advancements in their long range ballistic missile and nuclear technology.”
The “Protect the Homeland from North Korean and Iranian Ballistic Missiles Act” H.R. 2845:
1) Includes a Statement of Policy that Congress-
• acknowledges that North Korea’s and Iran’s long-range ballistic missile technology is improving and could be used to deliver chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons;
• expresses concern that North Korea’s and Iran’s long-range ballistic missile technology poses a real threat to the United States homeland;
• realizes missile delivery technology and warheads could be passed along to state and non-state actors; and
• supports ballistic missile protection of United States allies and forward deployed forces but believes it should not come at the expense of the protection of the United States homeland.
2) Directs the Secretary of Defense to deploy-
• Not less than 40 ground-based interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska.
• Not less than 4 ground-based interceptors at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
• Such number of ground-based interceptors at such other locations as the President determines appropriate.
3) Authorizes the appropriation for fiscal year 2010, in the amount of $500,000,000, for the ground-based midcourse defense system of the Missile Defense Agency. This would bring the missile defense system up to last year’s appropriated level