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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume, and I rise in support of my amendment.

Here's what my amendment says: Why are we building a new nuclear bomber? It's 2012. The B 52s that we have--93 of them--are going to last until 2040. The B 2s we have are going to last until 2058. That's when they begin to retire.

Now, of all the things America doesn't need right now, it's a brand new nuclear bomber.

We're talking about cutting Medicare or Medicaid out here on the floor, there's not enough money to invest in research to find the cure for Alzheimer's, but we need a new nuclear bomber for $18 billion? It makes no sense. It's insane. We don't even have any more targets to hit them with.

Every single nuclear submarine we have has 96 independently targetable nuclear warheads on board. That's 96 cities in the Soviet Union, the bombs in the Soviet Union would destroy, 96 cities in China destroyed by one submarine. We already have 93 B 52s. We have 20 B 2s. We have ICBMs ready to launch. And they want to build a new bomber, a nuclear bomber with nuclear bombs. By the time the new nuclear bomb arrives, there will be no place to hit. All the old bombers, all the nuclear submarines will have hit all the targets.

The boom we should be listening to is the baby boom. We need money for Medicare. We need money for Medicaid. We need money for Social Security. We need money to invest in finding the cure for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. That's the boom that's going to hit American families. That's the fear people have.

The fear that people have is not that they're going to be in a nuclear war. The fear that people have is that there's going to be a terrifying call that comes into their family that tells them that they now have another case of Alzheimer's in their family, that it has not been cured.

Each one of these bombers could double the size of the budget to find the cure for Alzheimer's. That's what we should be doing. That's the real terrorist that people are afraid of coming into their lives.

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Mr. MARKEY. I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

Again, the experts all say that if we delay this just 10 years, which is all I'm asking for, a 10-year delay, since the B 2s and the B 52s aren't beginning to retire until between 2040 and 2058. All that Mr. Welch and Mr. Conyers and I are saying is, if we delay it for 10 years, there's still plenty of time to build them if there's a need.

But to begin to build new things right now with this era of tremendous budget deficits, when we should just be trying to find a way to reduce our deficits, you know, balance this budget, it's just wasteful. It's wasteful. And I just want to balance the budget. And if we're wasting money on projects like this, then we have no chance of doing anything about this deficit reduction.

So, again, experience shows us that it only takes 16 years, not 30, to bring a new bomber from the drawing board to the runway.

There are millions of families out there who are trying to get by with a car that's a few years old and just keep it going. The Air Force has already spent over $6 billion refurbishing all these planes. They plan on spending billions more on refurbishing them. There's no reason to believe they can't go out to the year 2060.

This is not the year for us to be spending this money.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. MARKEY. I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

Just look at this from the perspective of an ordinary family. They've already got three cars in the driveway. Everyone says to them, you can go another 100,000 on those three cars. And yet the decision is made by some of the family members, we're going to buy a brand new, top-of-the-line car right now, even though the whole family is in debt. Everyone in the neighborhood would think that's crazy.

That's what we're doing here today. The majority is saying, let's build a brand new bomber, a gold-plated bomber that's been on the wish list of the Air Force for a generation, even though we have plenty of bombers, nuclear bombers in an era where there aren't any more nuclear sites that we can be bombing around the world, and we're just going to waste the money.

We should be balancing the budget. We have to tighten our belt. And I just urge the majority to reconsider this. We have to save the money. And there just are no targets, and there are plenty of bombers we have that can last out to 2060.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. MARKEY. I yield myself the remainder of my time.

We're $15 trillion in debt--$15 trillion. We've got all the bombers we need. They can last to 2060. We don't need a new nuclear bomber. Okay? We just don't need a new nuclear bomber. We don't have the targets for them, we can't afford them, and we don't need them. How's that for a combination?

Let's just cut back on something on this defense budget. Does it have to be the entire wish list of every single defense contractor in the United States, regardless of whether or not it relates to the military needs of our country?

And by the way, 30 or 40 years from now, $18 billion. We can postpone it 10 years, still have the brandnew planes ready to go in 2050 and 2060. We should be saving money for this generation right now, not just passing it on for the next generation.

I urge an ``aye'' vote, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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