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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ROGERS of Alabama. I thank the gentlelady.

As chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, I rise in support of this amendment, and I don't have any silos in Alabama, although I would like to have some.

One of the things I want people to be cognizant of is we need to maintain our resiliency as we go through these negotiations. The New START Treaty does not require these silos be demolished. The fact is, as we just learned with our ground-based interceptors which President Obama decided 4 years ago to reduce from 44 to 30, he reversed course when the world got a little bit more dangerous, and now we're going back to put those additional 14 GBIs in Fort Greeley.

We never know when the world's landscape is going to change. It is much more expensive and cumbersome to try to put new silos in than it is to keep these warm. I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this amendment.

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Mr. ROGERS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Turner amendment.

This administration must be transparent with the Congress on negotiating proposals with foreign states, especially on something as important to U.S. security as missile defense. Numerous members of the HASC, including Chairman McKeon, have written asking questions of DOD and the President as to the content of proposals that the administration is and may be making with the Russians.

We see over and over again Russian officials, after visits by U.S. officials, referencing proposals that have been made on U.S. missile defenses. We know from these press reports that the President is proposing ``executive agreements'' and drafting executive orders to provide ``legally binding'' constraints on our missile defenses. When we, as Members of Congress, ask about these proposals, we're told next to nothing.

It's unacceptable for this administration to stiff-arm the Congress when negotiating over U.S. missile defenses. I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this amendment.

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Mr. ROGERS of Alabama. I thank the chairman.

I rise in vigorous opposition to Mr. Holt's amendment. At a time when the technical and strategic case for missile defense has never been stronger, the gentleman's amendment would strike bipartisan provisions that will improve our missile defenses.

For example, the amendment would strike a provision the committee adopted that would improve the kill assessment capability of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system. Why would the gentleman want a national missile defense system with a less robust kill assessment capability than is technically possible?

The amendment would strike a provision dealing with an Analysis of Alternatives on the future space sensor architecture for our missile defense system. Does the gentleman not want an informed judgment and study on a persistent overhead space sensor system? The gentleman may be laboring under misimpressions of missile defense.

I know there are so-called ``experts'' in the disarmament community who labor to create doubts about our missile defense system, but I ask, How many of these ``experts'' have been briefed on what the system does, on the incredibly technically demanding tests that the warfighters create? I would say none.

I urge the gentleman to withdraw his amendment, to come get some classified briefings; and let's see if we can't add him to the overwhelming bipartisan group of policymakers that supports a strong and robust national and regional missile defense system.

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Mr. ROGERS of Alabama. I thank the chairman.

I rise in strong opposition to the McCollum amendment. The McCollum amendment would prohibit the Army National Guard from sponsoring and advertising in professional motor sports. This amendment would have a negative impact on the recruiting of soldiers to enlist or reenlist in the National Guard.

Recent studies have shown that around 90 percent of the Army National Guard soldiers who enlisted or reenlisted since 2007 were exposed to this form of advertising. Additionally, these creative advertising techniques reach a sport with over 75 million loyal viewers, many of whom are between the age of 18 and 34 years old, the target audience to recruit quality soldiers for the Army National Guard.

I fully recognize the need for Congress to cut unnecessary spending, and I have voted many times to rein in government spending; however, I see no need to prohibit this successful form of advertising which works to recruit quality men and women to help protect and defend our Nation.

I urge a ``no'' vote on McCollum amendment No. 25.

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Mr. ROGERS of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I never ceased to be amazed in this Chamber. The only time I see my colleagues on the other side of the aisle concerned about fiscal restraint and cutting spending is when it comes to national defense. You know, one of the most knuckle-headed things this Congress has done is the sequestration framework that I, unfortunately, was a part of setting into place. But as you just heard my colleague from Texas state, we had already cut $480 billion out of defense before sequestration comes into play. Now we have sequestration coming into play.

The thought that we could be in a war, defend against potential areas of war that are emerging around the world with further cuts is mindless and irresponsible. We owe it to the men and women in this country who serve in uniform and their families to make sure they have everything they need to be safe and successful when we send them into a theater of war.

This amendment is dangerous, and I urge my colleagues to reject it.

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Mr. ROGERS of Alabama. I thank the chairman.

Today I rise in opposition to the amendment offered by my good friend and colleague from Tennessee (Mr. Cooper) as well as my good friend from Washington State.

The committee zeroed out these funds because the administration appears to be expecting a blank check from the Congress to implement this treaty. The House, through the appropriation power, must have a chance to evaluate whether the implementation of a treaty and the manner in which an administration intends to implement a treaty is in the U.S. national security interest. That's the reason the 1042 report was required in the FY12 NDAA in the first place.

I remind the House, this report is mandated by law. Are we really comfortable in this House with letting the President ignore the law of the land as he sees fit?

Additionally, while the gentleman from Tennessee withdrew the amendment at the full committee level because the offset he selected was of concern, the offset he has now is also a problem. It takes a program in DARPA that has been eliminated recently, and the funds for that program are planned to support transition activities to two other DARPA programs. Diverting $50 million from this effort now would significantly slow down the schedule for these two programs.

Additionally, we expect President Obama to announce, likely next week in Berlin, that he will seek to reduce our deployed nuclear forces by one-third--beyond the New START treaty reductions we have yet to put in place. We need to put the brakes on this rush to zero. This President is proposing dangerous and irreversible changes to our nuclear forces.

I urge my colleagues to reject the amendment.

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