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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ANDREWS. The issue is not whether the country will have a missile defense; the issue is whether the country will have an effective missile defense.

Ninety-nine percent of the threat comes from regional missiles, so this budget increases by about 50 percent the amount of money that we spend on effective regional defense systems.

But let's talk about what we would do if the Pyongyang threat came true and a missile was fired from North Korea. Here is the first thing we would do: We would rely upon the ground-based systems in Alaska. We put nearly a billion dollars into improving those systems. The Secretary of Defense has testified that the 30 interceptors in place are plenty, that they are enough. We improve upon them, and we use that system.

Second, we look to a system that we frankly think will work better because the testing has been more promising and more accurate, the SM-3, Block 2A interceptors, funding for which is increased by 50 percent in this bill.

The issue is not whether we have a missile defense; it is whether we have one that works. I will requote the Secretary of Defense: ``The security of the American people and the efficacy of the missile defense are not enhanced by continuing to put money into programs that in terms of their operational concept are fatally flawed, or research programs that are essentially sink holes for taxpayers' dollars.''

We would not invest in Civil War-era technology that doesn't work to defend our country. We would invest in the 21st-century technology that does work, and that is what we are doing.

We should oppose this amendment.


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