The United States Senate voted early this morning to approve an amendment to the budget resolution introduced by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) that aims to eliminate funding for the "missile to nowhere" - a weapons system that the Army will never procure. The amendment was approved by a vote of 94 to 5.
Earlier this week, Ayotte attempted to offer an amendment to separate legislation - the Continuing Resolution - that would have eliminated funding for MEADS and restored funding to the Department of Defense's operations and maintenance budget to increase military readiness. That attempt was prevented by Senate appropriators. The overwhelming approval of Ayotte's budget resolution amendment shows why they blocked it -- they knew it would pass.
"This is a weapons system that the Pentagon won't use and Congress doesn't want to fund. We shouldn't waste any more money on a "missile to nowhere' that will never reach the battlefield," said Senator Ayotte. "Every dollar we spend on a wasteful program is a dollar we don't have to ensure our service members have everything they need to protect themselves and accomplish their missions."
She continued, "The Pentagon should take note that the overwhelming majority of the Senate has spoken. Consistent with the prohibition in the 2013 defense bill, MEADS should not receive any funding this year. I expect Secretary Hagel to honor his commitment, follow the law, and ensure MEADS receives no funding this year."
MEADS - which has cost nearly $3 billion so far - has been plagued by consistent scheduling delays, cost overruns, as well as an overall failure to meet performance requirements, and the Pentagon has said it does not intend to procure the program.
Senator Ayotte, who has led the fight to eliminate funding for MEADS, successfully included a provision in the FY 2013 defense authorization bill that prohibits funding for the program. Despite this fact, congressional appropriators chose to ignore current law and include $381 million for MEADS in the CR.
Ayotte voted against final passage of the overall budget resolution, which taxes and spends far too much.