Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Congressman Trent Franks Offers Amendment to Fully Restore Vital Missile Defense Funding

Democrats on Committee Chose to Compromise National Security, Cut 11,000 American Jobs

June 16, 2009 - Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02), the co-founder and co-chairman of the House Missile Defense Caucus, today offered an amendment during the annual mark-up of the National Defense Authorization Act, which would have restored the $1.2 billion for vital missile defense programs that was slashed from the Obama Administration's budget submission for Fiscal Year 2010. The amendment addressed the fact that the legislation increased funding for near term threats and for missile defense funding for our allies, but significantly decreased missile defense funding for our homeland and to defend against more advanced, far term threats.

The amendment was defeated by a vote of 36 to 26. According to industry analysts, the cuts will result in the loss of 11,000 American jobs.

"There has never been a time in history when the correlation of ballistic missile proliferation, nuclear weapons programs, and jihadist terrorism so imminently threatened the peace of the entire human family." Franks stated. "America faces a growing threat in the rising belligerence, instability, and technological advancements of rogue nations like North Korea and Iran. Both have made their resolute commitment to a long-range missile and nuclear capability, their hatred of the United States, and their hostility toward our allies unmistakably clear.

"In the face of such realities, Democrats once again rejected valuable amendments today that would have restored the critical funding needed for a robust ballistic missile defense against these very real threats; and in so doing they have shown an unbelievably dangerous disregard for reality, reducing our ability to respond to increasingly complex and growing threat and making us more vulnerable to ballistic missile attacks. Such short-lived, so-called political victories have no place in the public forum when they hold such potentially grave consequences for America's national security."

The Franks Amendment would have fully restored the Obama Administration's $1.2 billion cut to the National Missile Defense System. The amendment enumerated the worldwide threats currently posed by short, medium, and long-range ballistic missiles, and included authorization to fully fund the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system and emplace all 44 interceptors. It also funded the Airborne Laser, Kinetic Energy Interceptor, the Multiple Kill Vehicle, and the Space Tracking and Surveillance System, all systems that were cut in this year's president's budget request.

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