Rep. Michael Turner, the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, today released the following prepared remarks for House consideration of H.R. 2647, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010
Rep. Michael Turner, the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, today released the following prepared remarks for House consideration of H.R. 2647, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010:
“I thank the gentleman from California, Mr. McKeon. He has demonstrated great leadership in a short period of time as our new Ranking Member, and I look forward to working with him.
“Mr. McHugh, a close friend of this committee, also deserves recognition. His dedication and commitment to our men and women in uniform is unparalleled. I wish him all the best in his new position as Secretary of the Army.
“I would also like to thank Ms. Tauscher, chairwoman of the Strategic Forces subcommittee. She has provided a strong and thoughtful voice on national security issues. I wish her the very best in her new position as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
“I support H.R. 2647—the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act.
“The bill contains sound, bipartisan provisions that provide key capabilities to our warfighters, strengthens our nation’s strategic forces, and sustains the intellectual capital supporting our national security infrastructure.
“The National Nuclear Security Administration is provided with the flexibility necessary to increase the long-term reliability, safety, and security of our nuclear weapons stockpile.
“The bill provides stable funding for key programs in satellite communications, GPS, missile warning and Operationally Responsive Space.
“Furthermore, it highlights the need for greater analytical capabilities and resources in the area of foreign ballistic missile intelligence, particularly longer-range missiles.
“I was disappointed, however, that the bill sustains the Administration’s missile defense cut of $1.2 billion dollars. Given North Korea’s widely publicized nuclear test and missile launches, not to mention Iran’s recent missile tests, cuts in missile defense challenge common sense.
“I cannot reconcile why the Administration has decided to decrease missile defense funding – including the 35-percent cut to the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system in Alaska and California – while daily news reports, substantiated by our own intelligence agencies, articulate an increasing missile threat.
“Should these cuts be sustained, we stand to lose over 11,000 American jobs across the country.
“Despite the current threat posed by North Korea—including reports of a potential ICBM launch—the committee rejected amendments that I offered, along with my colleagues, to restore missile defense funds. This included providing a modest amount of funds to complete a partially constructed missile interceptor field in Alaska designed to protect the U.S. homeland. The equipment has already been purchased and holes already dug. My amendment would have paid for this activity with funds set aside to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program, assuming Kim Jong Il gave his permission.
“I strongly support the bill’s increase in theater missile defenses. These systems, Aegis and THAAD in particular, provide protection of our forward-deployed troops and allies from shorter-range missiles.
“Unfortunately, the Administration’s $1.2 billion dollar cut has set up a false choice between protection of the U.S. homeland and protection of our forward-deployed troops and allies. Both are necessary and both could have been adequately funded without such deep cuts.
“I am pleased this bill included key provisions of the bipartisan ‘NATO First’ bill that my colleague, Mr. Marshall, and I introduced to fortify America’s transatlantic security links with our European allies.
“Lastly, strengthening the personal safety and family rights of military personnel are issues that I have long advocated for. Therefore, I am pleased that this bill contains language I authored to enhance sexual assault protections for women in uniform and expand the child custody rights of military parents.
“I believe the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act continues a fundamental commitment to protecting our nation while also providing our military personnel with the resources they need to effectively and safety perform their missions. I urge its adoption.”
The following is a video of this statement: