Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle issued the following statement regarding the Senate Armed Services Committee's failure to authorize funds for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) in the FY'12 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). MEADS is a joint international defense program that provides next generation air defense missile capability to replace the decades old Patriot system.
"It concerns me greatly that the Senate Armed Services Committee would take such a draconian act as to zero-out a program whose technology can be an essential component to the advancement of our nation's defense. As the Administration has point out, it sends the wrong message to our international partners and allies that the United States is not upholding its agreements."
"In July, I sent a request to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the capability and cost-effectiveness of the MEADS system. I am confident that a GAO report would illustrate that the MEADS system will save the Department of Defense billions of dollars in the long-term and reduce the need for our military to put soldiers in harm's way."
"Given the current strains on our Federal budget, and with the need to streamline our Department of Defense, the MEADS technology is an essential step toward a stronger United States defense. I urge my colleagues in Congress to consider the myriad benefits for our men and women in the field and for our nation's economic well-being that will result from honoring our MEADS obligation with Germany and Italy. As the Senate continues consideration of this legislation, I strongly encourage the full restoration of funds for the MEADS system."