U.S. Representative Paul Broun, M.D. (GA-10) today released the following statement after his vote in support of H.R. 2647, the National Defense Authorization Act and after his amendment to restore $1.2 billion in funding for missile defense was defeated by Congressional liberals:
"There are evidently misplaced priorities as Congress eliminated funding for a missile defense system the same week that North Korea threatened to wipe the United States off the map. It is unconscionable that we would decrease funding for our missile defense system during a period when North Korea and Iran's nuclear programs and ballistic missiles pose a real and increasing threat to the United States. This $1.2 billion cut forces an unnecessary choice between protecting our homeland against longer-range missiles and protection of our forward-deployed troops and allies against shorter-range missiles.
"Despite some serious concerns with the legislation, I was pleased to ultimately see the passage of the Defense Authorization bill. I am committed to ensuring that our brave military and civilian personnel have all the necessary tools to complete their missions successfully. During a time of war, I would have preferred to see more than a net increase of less than 2% in defense spending. I also was disappointed that now for the second year in a row, liberal leaders failed to address outstanding military personnel benefits for our men and women in uniform and their families, both past and present. I would hope to see increased payments to military surviving spouses and children and to provide for concurrent receipt of military retirement pay and Veterans' Affairs disability benefits for all military retirees.
"It is my hope that the Senate and conference committee address the concerns I have with the funding levels, missile defense programs and detention policies," said Congressman Paul Broun.