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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. LUMMIS. Mr. Chairman, my amendment is cosponsored by Mr. Daines of Montana and Mr. Cramer of North Dakota. It would require DOT to maintain all current 450 intercontinental ballistic missile silos in warm status.

This amendment would maintain our nuclear triad, where ICBMs, along with submarines and bombers, work together to complicate and deter any attempts at a successful first strike on our country and our allies.

China's nuclear arsenal is expanding. Russia and other nuclear states like Pakistan are modernizing. With inexperienced leaders like Kim Jung Un in North Korea, now is the time not to reduce our most reliable and transparent deterrence.

President Obama continues to suggest further reductions in U.S. nuclear forces beyond the New START Treaty levels and is now bypassing Congress to negotiate directly with President Putin on additional unilateral reductions.

It's important for Congress to legislatively require that any final force structure decisions occur in FY15, as currently planned, and not be prematurely executed.

The ICBM force is in the final stages of more than a decade-long effort to replace and modernize critical-mission components. This makes it extremely cost effective to maintain the Minuteman III fleet over the next two decades.

This amendment is budget-neutral. It simply keeps silos in warm status, so as not to take steps backward that would be costly to reverse at a later date, especially if we encountered unforeseen geopolitical changes.

Congress needs to weigh in on the importance of maintaining our land-based forces so the decision is not made without us.


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