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Reps. Nadler, Garamendi, Polis Introduce Amendment to Cut Unrequested, Unproven Weapons System

July 23, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) was joined by Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) in introducing an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Appropriations Bill, H.R. 2397, to eliminate the $70.2 million added by the Appropriations Committee for an East Coast missile defense system.

“Military leaders have repeatedly said that they don’t need this unproven and unnecessary weapons system. This weapons program doesn’t match any threat to New York that will occur in the near future and wastes millions of taxpayer dollars,” said Congressman Nadler. “Congress must understand that in order to keep New Yorkers – and all Americans – safe, we need to fund a military that is equipped to deal with the security challenges of the 21st century. Members of Congress should stop forcing their pet programs into the defense bill – especially when the Pentagon says that it is unnecessary.”

“This boondoggle lavishes millions of taxpayer dollars on a project that the Department of Defense and outside experts have said is not needed and will not work. Instead, we should invest this money in effective 21st Century national security programs, in proven investments for job creation such as infrastructure, or in responsibly reducing the deficit,” said Congressman Garamendi, a Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

“It is critical that we allocate our resources to fund defense projects that ensure Americans are safe, rather than fund failed missile systems that our military leaders do not believe should be a priority. I am proud to have introduced this amendment with Representatives Nadler and Garamendi that honors the goals of our military leaders who do not want and have not asked for funding for a third missile defense site,” said Congressman Jared Polis.

In a June 10, 2013 letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), Vice Admiral James Syring, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, and Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, Commander, Joint Functional Command for Integrated Missile Defense, unequivocally stated: “There is no validated military requirement to deploy an East Coast missile defense site.”

Admiral Syring told the House Armed Services Committee earlier this year that he would not be able to use additional funds for an East Coast site this year because the Pentagon has only begun to study the concept; the Pentagon already has the funding it needs for this work in FY 2014.

The recent test failure of the ground-based mid-course system that would be deployed on the East Coast is another reason not to rush forward with deployment. There have been no successful intercept tests for the past five years of the system that might be deployed on the East Coast.