We Must Preserve a Strong National Defense (Rep. Trent Franks)

Today Congress will be voting on the annual appropriations for the Department of Defense in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Throughout the House Armed Services Committee mark-up, Democrats made clear their intentions to cut entire programs from our Ballistic Missile Defense program. In defense of their decisions, leadership in the Committee stated, "...we need real capabilities to address real threats." Somehow it seems they've lost sight of the fact that we live in a nuclear age, when failure to anticipate "emerging" nuclear threats could undeniably cost millions of lives.

With that in mind, I will be offering an amendment today to restore the full $764 million being slashed from the president's budget back to missile defense programs. This would enable us to take a gigantic stride towards closing the gap in missile defense and enable us to identify and address future threats. The amendment would restore funding for the Space Test Bed (which had been eliminated completely,) as well as the Airborne Laser program, which our only missile defense system capable of effectively destroying missiles in their boost phase when they are most vulnerable. While these amendments will no doubt be vehemently opposed, the issue of preserving a strong national defense- for both real and emerging threats- should be a non-partisan one, and must be addressed for this and future generations.