By Leada Gore
An amendment by Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, to prevent classified missile technology from being used as a bargaining tool with Russia was included in the House Armed Services Committee's National Defense Authorization Act.
"The National Defense Authorization Act for 2014 does several key things: it restores defense funding to pre-sequestration levels, ending a dangerous series of cuts that threaten our national security; it protects our classified missile defense systems by including my amendment to prevent hit-to-kill technology from being given to the Russian Federation; and it strengthens our over-all national defense capabilities by investing in current key programs, such as the Nuclear Aircraft Carrier, KC-46 Tanker, Long Range Strike Bomber and Amphibious Combat Vehicle, and providing for new initiatives," Brooks said.
Brooks' amendment would prevent hit-to-kill technology from being shared with the Russians. Hit-to-kill technology uses an interceptor missile to track a target at high speed, smash into it and destroy on impact. Brooks previously introduced legislation included in the most recent Continuing Resolution to prevent the White House from using other weapons technology as diplomatic bargaining tools.
Brooks said the amendment protects the country's $153 billion missile defense program, much of which is located in Huntsville. He said he introduced the amendment due to concerns the Obama administration would be willing to share missile secrets in exchange for diplomatic concessions.
"In March of 2012, President Obama expressed to then-President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more "flexibility" on missile defense following his re-election. Little more than a year later, on May 8, a Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing revealed that the Obama Administration is still attempting to trade our defense secrets for diplomacy. Witnesses affirmed that the Obama Administration has had discussions with top defense officials regarding declassifying our missile technology information, and providing that information to the Russian Federation," Brooks said.
The amendment received the support of other Alabama HASC's members, Mike Rogers, R-Saks, chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee and Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, Oversight and Investigations Chair.
"In addition, the mark supports my efforts to maintain the Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Advanced Hyper Sonic Weapon Program, a program that has been described as a game changer in national defense, and one to which Redstone Arsenal is a proud contributor. I also submitted successful language to support NASA's Liquid Rocket Engine Technology, which would make the U.S. less dependent on foreign suppliers for rocket engines," Brooks said.
Brooks said the markup also includes his amendment to require the Navy to inform Congress on the specifications and purposes of the Joint High Speed Vessel, and an amendment requesting a detailed report on the modernization of the Patriot system.
Brooks is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and serves on the Strategic Forces and Oversight and Investigations subcommittees. He is the founder and co-chair of the Army Aviation Caucus.
The bill will go before the entire House this week and the Senate will begin debate on the markup, too.