WASHINGTON, DC  – Today the House Armed Services Committee marked-up H.R.2647, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY10, which included $9.3 billion for the nation’s missile defense system. The bill provides our warfighters the resources necessary to meet the most pressing ballistic missile threats to the United States, our deployed forces, and our friends and allies.

 “For too many years we have not taken a balanced approach to missile defense,” said Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO). “We have spent far too much money on programs that do not protect us from the threats that truly exist. Democrats support a missile defense system that actually works and will keep Americans safe. Today’s legislation accomplishes that goal.”
 “H.R. 2647 represents the culmination of my work as the Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee for the past three years – refocusing the missile defense program on proven, operationally effective systems designed to counter the most likely threats,” said Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Ellen Tauscher (D-CA). 
“The bill increases funding for the proven Aegis BMD and THAAD systems by $900 million over the Fiscal Year 2009 level.  It also provides over $1 billion to continue to researching, developing, testing and sustaining missile defense systems like the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system and the Aegis Standard Missile-3 Block IIA interceptor designed to counter long-range missiles. H.R. 2647 dramatically improves the security of the United States, our deployed forces, and our friends and allies,” Tauscher concluded.
  “For years, the Bush administration ignored combatant commanders when they said they lacked sufficient numbers of theater missile defense systems. In H.R.2647, we have made their recommendations a top priority. As commanders on the ground, they see firsthand what threats we face, and their advice must be taken into consideration when crafting a missile defense strategy,” continued Representative Rob Andrews (D-NJ).  “By bringing them into the process, we now have a threat-based approach to missile defense, as compared to the capabilities-based approach of the Bush Administration.”

 “H.R. 2647 supports the President’s decision to cancel three troubled and flawed missile defense programs – the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, the Multiple Kill Vehicle, and the second Airborne Laser prototype aircraft.  It also increases funding for proven systems like Aegis BMD and THAAD that are designed to counter the most likely threats.  I agree with Secretary Gates’ view that the security of the United States is certainly not increased by continuing to pour money into flawed programs,” Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI) concluded.

 The bill includes the following provisions:

Democrats Support Effective Missile Defenses That Address the Most Likely Threats
HASC Democrats increase funding for the deployment of proven missile defenses like Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (Aegis BMD) and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), and ensure that we can effectively test, sustain, and modernize the existing long-range missile defense system currently deployed in Alaska and California.

Democrats Support Combatant Commanders Warfighting Requirements
HASC Democrats, in support of the current administration’s budget request, provide combatant commanders increased capabilities to meet their stated warfighting requirements.

            This bill fully authorizes:

• $1.8 billion for Aegis BMD;
• $1.1 billion for THAAD;
• $1.3 billion for Army missile defense programs, including the Patriot system.

*** All provisions are subject to change pending final passage of H.R.2647 ***