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Public Statements

Department Of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, D.C.

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Mr. GRAHAM. Mr President, I would like to engage in a brief colloquy with
the esteemed Senator from Hawaii, the chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Inouye.

The bill before us includes a significant cut of $9 million from U.S. SOCOM's SCAR Program--special operations combat assault rifle. The SCAR was selected in a fair and open competition and has undergone some of the most rigorous testing of any small arms program in U.S. history. It is widely regarded as one of the best and most versatile weapons in the world. While this weapon has passed all tests, the only issue now is what mix of versatility--7.62mm models or 5.56mm models--they want to have at the ODA level operational detachment alpha--that is the Special Forces A team level which is as close to the ground level fight as you can get.

I understand there are recent concerns regarding contracting delays and the ability to obligate these funds. I have been assured by SOCOM that they will be able to spend all funds requested within the appropriate timeframe. The Special Forces is intensely engaged in combat operations all over the world including Afghanistan and they need the versatility and capability offered by this unique weapon system. The President's Budget included $9.746 million for this program. The House-passed version of this bill fully funds the President's request. I would encourage the chairman to ensure this program is fully funded in the Senate as requested in the President's budget.

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