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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HANNA. Mr. Chair, I would first like to thank the chairman and the ranking member for their good work on this bill. I'm inclined to support the underlying bill but believe it can be, and should be, strengthened through this amendment.

The Department of Defense faces more than 10 million cyberattacks every day. The damage and frequency of these attacks have been rapidly increasing over recent years. Attacks against our networks cost our businesses more than $1 trillion per year in lost intellectual property and other damages, resulting in theft of innovation and real damage to our economy and American jobs.

For example, a cyberattack in March of 2011 against the military contractor resulted in the loss of 24,000 Department of Defense files. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has stated that 60,000 new software programs are identified every day which threaten our security, our economy, our citizens, and our military.

High-tech threats require high-tech defenses to combat the attacks that face our armed services on the front lines and our businesses here at home. Proper funding for our cybersecurity defenses and advanced research projects is critical to our national security in today's high-threat environment.

The Air Force has always taken the lead in cyberspace defenses, yet over $1 billion is proposed to be cut from their research, development, test and evaluation programs under this bill. These cuts are not justified based on the frequency and magnitude of the threats.

These cuts would further expose our networks and adversely affect our service departments and agencies such as Strategic Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency.

Secretary Panetta has stated:

The next Pearl Harbor we confront could very well be a cyberattack that cripples our systems.

We simply need to protect our networks by providing the funding levels necessary to do just that.

My amendment would restore $30 million to the Air Force's Research, Development, Test and Evaluation programs and reduce Operations and Maintenance by the same amount to support research and development of cyberdefense, advanced communication and information technology programs.

Recognizing the need for fiscal restraint, if adopted, my amendment would still fund the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation account by $1.6 billion, or 6 percent, below this year's level; and overall, Operations and Maintenance would still receive $12.1 billion above the enacted levels.

Now is simply not the time to cut back on high-tech research and development without justification. I urge my colleagues to support this amendment to restore funding for these programs which are vital to our 21st century defenses.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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