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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LANGEVIN. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I would like to thank Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith, Chairman Thornberry, and the members of the committee, as well as the staff, for their efforts in crafting this year's bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act, which affirms our commitment to the dedicated men and women of our military, the infrastructure that enables their efforts, and the research and development required to maintain our technological edge.

I am particularly pleased that H.R. 4310 includes provisions I advocated to prevent the proposed cut in the production of the peerless Virginia-class submarines. These electric boats--which are critical to our national security and built in my district through Quonset/Davisville by the hardworking men and women that work there--are being built ahead of schedule and under budget. This bill preserves the two-boat-per-year model that has enabled such great efficiencies.

I would also like to note the inclusion of my amendment to accelerate the deployment of the most promising directed-energy initiatives. Just recently, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments issued a report that clearly showed that many directed energy technologies have matured to the point that "cultural factors and the lack of resources, not technological maturity'' are the most significant barriers to operational deployment. These technologies have the potential to fundamentally shift how our military operates in the complex environments of the future and enables DOD's objectives of a "smaller, lighter, more agile, flexible joint force that can conduct a full range of military activities.''

Additionally, this legislation prioritizes and supports the Department's cybersecurity and IT efforts. Cyber has long been a chief focus of mine; and while I'm encouraged that this legislation continues to address this critical issue, much remains to be done. FBI Director Mueller has said that cybersecurity could soon be more of a threat than terrorism, yet our Federal Government still lacks a single point of accountability for cybersecurity, and our critical infrastructure lacks many basic protections.

I am hopeful that the Rules Committee will allow floor consideration of two amendments I offered that would enable a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity across the government and secure the infrastructure on which our military and our Nation depend.

On balance, this is a good bill. I thank the chairman and the ranking member for their hard work, as well as the staff.

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