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Public Statements

Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 2647, National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentleman from Florida.

Mr. Speaker, today we are considering the rule for a bill to develop and deploy defensive capabilities for the protection of the American people, our stationed men and women, and our allies. The rising threat from North Korea and Iran highlights why our national security strategy must include a comprehensive, multilayered, and robust missile defense program to protect our homeland.

Both of these rogue nations, Mr. Speaker, provocatively flaunt their growing capabilities with long-range missiles and nuclear programs. Just last week, we learned that North Korea is planning to launch a missile towards the U.S. around the 4th of July holiday. To repeat a phrase used by our President just last week, these regimes pose a ``grave threat'' to the safety and security of our citizens and our allies.

Yet the bill which is the subject of this rule, Mr. Speaker, sustains an inexplicable $1.2 billion cut from the missile defense budget. Mr. Speaker, the question before us is very simple: How do we reconcile gutting missile defense when it will defend against what our own President rightfully calls a ``grave threat''? It simply doesn't make sense.

The cuts include a 35 percent reduction to the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program, a system located in Alaska and California for the purpose of protecting this country against the type of missile North Korea is gearing up to launch.

This is not the time to be reducing our commitment to missile defense. We must fund the current missile defense systems that protect us today and the forward-looking programs that will protect us tomorrow.

Mr. Speaker, we must restore the $1.2 billion cut from the missile defense programs today.

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