Nuclear Forensics And Attribution Act

Floor Speech

By:  Pete King
Date: Jan. 20, 2010
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. KING of New York. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, again, let me thank Congresswoman Clarke for her leadership on this. Let me also thank Ranking Member Dan Lungren for his work.

Let me especially thank Mr. Schiff for his efforts on this and for so many other efforts on behalf of our national security. I have the privilege of serving with Mr. Schiff on the Intelligence Committee, so I have firsthand knowledge of the dedication which he brings to issues such as this.

Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 730. Let me just say that, in many ways, this is the other side of the same coin. We just adopted H.R. 2611, which is to prevent nuclear attacks against our cities. H.R. 730 will enable us to detect where those nuclear devices came from. It's absolutely essential that we deal with the process of determining the source of confiscated nuclear material. This is a grave, grave threat to our homeland, and it must be addressed immediately and robustly. We must have a rigorous attribution program to find the culprits of these crimes and to offer a deterrent to nuclear terrorism.

The one concern I do have is that the bill, as amended, coming back from the Senate does not authorize the appropriation of $30 million. I believe that is important. It is essential that we have it; but, again, this is a major step forward, so I am pleased to support the legislation even though I wish that the $30 million had been included in it.

This bill targets an ongoing threat in a unique way. It will reinvigorate the workforce pipeline to guarantee the Nation a resource of technical experts in this vital and critical field, and it will strengthen America's attribution capabilities.

Again, this is a bipartisan effort. It's the Homeland Security Committee working with Mr. Schiff and the Intelligence Committee. It is important that we pass this and that we really, again, send a strong signal of how we do believe in layered defenses, of how we realize the need of staying ahead of the terrorist threat and of doing all we can to protect the American people in a way which certainly transcends Republican or Democrat lines or liberal-conservative lines. It is an issue that should galvanize all Americans.

So, with that, I strongly urge support of H.R. 730.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. KING of New York. Madam Speaker, I would like to close by stating that all of us realize that a terrorist attack is a nightmare scenario.

The fact that we came so close to the loss of life on Christmas Day reminded us dramatically of the dangerous world in which we live. Those of us from New York will never forget September 11, 2001. But just think of the ultimate nightmare scenario, and that would be a nuclear attack. That is almost beyond our imagination. That is why everything must be done to stop those attacks, and to also have the deterrent, as Congressman Schiff said, the deterrent of retaliation against any country, against any entity, against any individual, any organization, which was in any way involved in providing nuclear weaponry to be used against the United States.

I strongly urge the adoption of this legislation.

I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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