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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DAINES. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Representative Lummis for her leadership on this critically important issue and show my strong support for this amendment which I have joined her and our friend from North Dakota in introducing today.

Our Nation's intercontinental ballistic missiles are a vital component of our nuclear deterrence strategy to keep the American people safe from mankind's most dangerous threat. And for several decades, this ``peace through strength'' policy has worked.

Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana, is home to 150 of our Nation's ICBMs. I recently visited Malmstrom and met with the leaders of the 341st Missile Wing to discuss the importance of our ICBM mission to our national security. In fact, at the conclusion of the visit, Colonel Robert Stanley, the commander at Malmstrom, gave me this commander's coin. The motto embossed on it summarizes why our defense strategy is effective. And let me read it. It says this:

Scaring the hell out of America's enemies since 1962.

I am grateful for their role in keeping America secure and their enormous contributions to Montana. I believe it will be deeply unwise to rewrite our effective policy for peace. Our potential adversaries in the 21st century may differ from those during the Cold War, but a comprehensive nuclear deterrence capability will remain crucial to our national security.

Our amendment requires the Pentagon to keep our ICBM silos in warm status even as adjustments pursuant to the New START Treaty are made. It will keep potential adversaries at bay and ensure that our crucial nuclear force remains flexible and responsive.

I urge all my colleagues to vote for it.

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