Washington D.C. – Based on an outdated-Cold War view of the world, House Republicans added nearly a half of a billion dollars in wasteful spending to the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Bill.
“This added funding does not reflect a post-September 11th mentality – it reflects a Cold War mentality,” said Reps. Sanchez and Garamendi in a joint statement. “Our strong nuclear deterrent remains essential and we support maintaining the most lethal and deadly deterrent on the planet. We have the ability to destroy the world many times over. Despite this un-paralled capability, Republicans continue to demand ever increasing spending on outdated nuclear weapons at the expense of the capabilities demanded by the post-9/11 world. If we are to protect America and its allies by confronting and defeating the enemies of today, we must invest in the weapons of today and strengthen regional and strategic stability, not cling to the Cold War arms races of the past.”
“For example, spending millions of dollars to maintain symbolic nuclear weapons in Europe without considering cost-effective alternatives and to rush into development of a $4 billion missile site that is not yet needed does not make us safer. In fact, in this time of tightening budgets and sequestration, requiring the Department of Defense to waste large amounts of money on outdated programs it does not want or need risks hollowing out the military and makes us less safe,” continued the members.
Congresswomen Loretta Sanchez and Congressman Garamendi, two vocal leaders on the House Armed Services Subcommittee for Strategic Forces, will seek to remove nearly a half of a billion dollars in wasteful spending from the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. The spending targeted by the members was not asked for by the Department of Defense and the military does not need it.
Specifically, the members will seek to remove:
- Additional $220 Million for Nuclear Arsenal: In the NDAA, Republicans increased the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) budget by approximately $220 million, which the Acting NNSA Administration said is not needed. NNSA nuclear weapons activities continues to benefit from unprecedented and significantly increasing levels of investment, including an FY14 budget 8% increase over FY13 levels, while the rest of the Defense budget suffers painful cuts.
- Additional $140 Million for Missile Defense Site Development and Planning: Military leaders have clearly stated they do not want and cannot utilize this funding in FY14. Instead of spending these funds on a new interceptor site on the East Coast, we should fix existing technical problems with the current system that need much improvement in terms of their capability and cost-effectiveness. We must make sure we get that right before rushing to deploy additional expensive and unproven systems.
- Additional $107 Million for Ground-Based Interceptors: Congresswomen Sanchez will propose an amendment to cut the $104 million increase in the mark for long-lead procurement for GMD ground-based interceptors (GBIs), specifically rocket motor sets. The administration does not plan to start procurement for new GBIs until FY16, after the Missile Defense Agency actually conducts a successful flight test, not planned until the 1st quarter of FY14 (following two 2010 flight test failures), and incorporate related analysis and upgrades. The early procurement of the rocket motors would waste money and capabilities because they are not needed now. If the rocket motors are procured 2-3 years early, they will lose 10-15% of their life, thereby unnecessarily limiting the total life of the GBIs.
“Together, these increases represent nearly a half of a billion dollars in wasteful spending that could be used to fund important and necessary priorities. As we move through the markup process, our goal will be to restore fiscal sanity and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and effectively,” concluded the members.