tv [untitled] CSPAN June 25, 2009 12:00pm-12:30pm EDT
cost us $2 trillion in our economy, and nearly $100 billion to clean it up i think that's shortsighted. with that i yield to the distinguished ranking member of the committee, mr. mckeon. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for how much time? as -- the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. mckeon: i thank the gentleman for yielding. in the last two months north korea has followed through on its provocative threat to conduct a nuclear test and launch missiles. today we hear that pyongyang is vowing to enlarge its arsenal and has warned of a fire shower of nuclear retaliation. these are grave and serious threats. however at a time when iran and north korea have demonstrated the capability and intent to pursue long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons programs, the defense bill endorsed reductions to capabilities that would provide a comprehensive missile defense system to protect the u.s.
homeland or forward deployed troops and allies. this amendment is common sense. it's a sound measure that would reverse the administration's $1.2 billion cut to missile defense. it would restore the 35% reduction to the nation's ground based mid course defense system located in alaska and california. which is designed to protect the u.s. homeland. it would restore investments in vital research and development like the airborne laser program which is on the cusp of demonstrating breakthrough technologies. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment to do so otherwise would be irresponsible. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from arizona continue to reserve his time. . mr. franks: i would like to yield to other members here. i will now yield to the distinguished ranking member of the strategic forces committee, mr. turner for one minute. the chair: the gentleman is
recognized for one minute. mr. turner: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. franks. i rise to speak in favor of the franks amendment. i was disappointed with the administration's decision to cut $1.2 billion out of missile defense funding. make no mistake. this is a cut. we'll spend $1.9 billion less than we spend in 2009. we're going to do this while we have increasing threats, not decreasing threats to the united states. make no mistake, the department of defense has not provided one data point, they have not provided one study, they have not provided any information, no intelligence that indicates we have a reduced threat, all the while we know with this reduced threat there should not be a justification for a reduction. i'm concerned with the top line missile defense cut, i'm depp lie --ed about the cuts that include a 35% cut to the
ground-based missile defense in alaska and california and terminate construction of a missile field in alaska that is partially complete and curtail additional g.m.b. development. i support the franks amendment. while we have an increased threat, we should not be decreasing our commitment to missile defense. the chair: the gentlewoman from california. mrs. tauscher: i would like to yield two minutes to mr. andrews. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. andrews: the issue is not whether the country will have missile defense, but whether we'll have an effective missile defense. 95% of the threat comes from regional missile. this budget increases by about 50% the amount we spenden effective regional defense.
let's talk about what we do if a pyongyang missile was fired. we'd rely upon the ground-based systems in alaska. we'd put nearly $1 billion into improving those systems. the secretary of defense testified that the 30 interceptors in place are plenty. that they're enough. we improve upon them and use that system. second we look to a system we frankly think will work better because the testing has been more promising and more accurate. the sm3 block 2a interceptor, funding of which is increased by 50% in this bill. the issue is not whether we have a missile defense. it's whether we have one that works. i will again requote the secretary of defense, as my friend from california did. quote, the security of the american people and the efficacy of the missile defense are not enhanced by continuing
to put money into programs that in terms of their operational concept are fatally flawed. or research programs that are essentially sink holes for taxpayers' dollars. we would not invest in civil war era technology that doesn't work to defend our country. we would invest in the 21st century technology that does work and that is what we are doing. we should oppose this amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the committee will rise informally. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to
inform the house the senate has passed s. 962, cited as the enhanced partnership with pakistan act of 2009 nrning which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the committee will resume its sitting. the chair: the gentleman from arizona. the gentleman from arizona has 5 1/2 minutes remain, the gentlewoman from california has 6 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. franks: have i yielded just four minutes thus far, two minutes to myself, mr. mckeon one minute, mr. turner one minute. the chair: the gentleman from arizona went 30 seconds other his time.
mr. franks: i'll yield the gentleman from alabama, mr. griffith, one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. griffith: madam chair, congressman franks, i appreciate this difficult situation. i believe that as the budget was formed and the decisions were made, north korea was not as aggressive, nor was iran. i stand in support of the franks amendment. i share the speaker's concern, madam chair's concern, that accountability needs to be increased but in this time of increasing threat, i would prefer that we err on the side of the franks amendment even if we must attach certain conditions to it in conference, but i would urge our members to
support it. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from alabama yields back. the gentlewoman from california. mrs. tauscher: i'd like to yield two minutes to mr. langevin. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. langevin: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment. chairman skeleton and chairwoman tauscher have rafted a bill that protects the united states and our allies from real ballistic missile defense. i think it's the right balance. there's no doubt this nation does need a robust missile defense, and we have properly invested our resources into those areas of ballistic missile defense that are working and have the most promise. the underlying bill provides $9.3 billion for missile defense, eliminating unnecessary and unproven programs that waste taxpayer dollars. the franks amendment would
direct precious resources to flawed programs that, to paraphrase secretary gates, will enhance neither the efficacy of missile defense nor the curt of our citizens. in his opening statement, the gentleman, the sponsor of the amendment, said the greatest threat we face is from a ballistic missile or a rogue -- from a rogue nation. that is not accurate. there's no doubt that that is a threat that we have to be concerned about, but realistically, the greatest threat is from a fiss ill material or nuclear -- fiss isle material or nuclear weapon being smuggled into the united states. that's not just my opinion, but that of many security experts. i have the privilege of serving on almost every major security committee in this congress, the
security committee and others, that's the greatest threat we face. this mark, the chairman's mark, contains more support for programs to secure fissile materials or nuclear weapons that could be smuggled into the country. mean wyle, the proposed cut d.o.e. would eliminate as many as 13,000 jobs when america could least afford it. this bill balances our security needs with -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. langevin: increases to directing against rogue threat tours country. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. franks: may i inquire as to the remaining time? the chair: the gentleman from arizona has five minutes remaining. the gentlewoman from california has four minutes remaining. mr. franks: thank you, mr.
chairman. i yield to the gentleman, mr. roscoe. -- mrs. roskam. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roskam: what if the administration is wrong and made the wrong request. this is an administration that says iran has legitimate nuclear ambitions. no they don't. there's no legitimate pursuit of nuclear power, it is all for a despicable, evil purpose. this is an administration that got it wrong in support of the dissidents, they've back pedaled when they missed the mark. i take the gentlewoman at face value when they say they're fully funding the request, but in my opinion, the request is wrong. the gentleman from arizona is right. this is an aggressive regime that ought not to be coddled. this is an effort to make sure that all of us are safe and
this is a sacred duty. i urge the adoption of the franks amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlewoman from california. mrs. tauscher: before i yield, i'd like to engage the new member from -- maybe illinois -- i know you're a new member, sir but the truth of the member is over the last eight years of the bush administration, where all we did was spend money without much oversight we would have had if we spent all that money, $120 billion, western should have a system that's operationally effective and had achieved credible deterrence. you have to ask yourself why that hasn't happened after $120 billion. the question isn't how much money you spend, it's whether you spend it smartly. that's what this budget does. mr. franks: will the gentlelady yield. mrs. tauscher: no, thank you. i yield to the gentleman from washington. the chair: the gentleman is
recognized for two minutes. >> the committee's bill does provide $9.3 billion for missile defense which fully funds the capabilities we need to protect our country. the threat to the nation from ballistic missiles is real. our ad versares have -- our adversaries have a variety of weapons and are working on others. the number of s.m.-3 interceptors will grow, the number of thad interceptors will grow from 97 to 287. these are urgently needed to protect our troops in the field. this also provides for testing of ground-based mid course defense and follows secretary gates' are recommendation to have the number of interceptors at 30.
secretary gates said at the level of capability north korea has right now and are likely to have for years to come 30rk interceptors provide enough security. combatant commanders say this budget meets their needs as well. i have to oppose the amendment because of where the offset is coming from $1.2 billion from the department of energy environmental cleanup. we had this debate in committee , not over this amount, but over some amount. cleaning up the nuclear legacy, the cold war legacy in this country is an obligation. some called this an obsession. is it an obsession to clean up nuclear waste in the groundwater around communities in this country? it is not an obsession, it is an obligation. if we cut these dollar, we're cutting away the obligation.
something more important as well. even though the recovery act put up to $5 billion in this budget, it's because we neglected the obligation. mrs. tauscher: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. larsen: it's because we neglected this in the past. cutting dollars in environmental cleanup continues to neglect the obligation we have to communities all over the country to clean up america's most toxic asset, cold war waste in communities. i ask my colleague to oppose this amendment. with that, i yield back. the chair: members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair. mr. franks: i yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from alaska, mr. young. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. young: permission to revise and extend. the chair: without objection. mr. young: i ask that the statement of pete sessions of texas be made part of the record. the chair: without objection. mr. young: i'm closer to korea
than anybody in this room and they are launching a missile on july 4. we have a missile event site in alaska that has missiles that can shoot that down. we just want to finish it. this money would finish it. it sends the wrong message to our enemies if we retreat from the defense we have today. some people say it doesn't work. it does work and will work. i don't like sitting in alaska looking at that missile that can reach us and reach hawaii and we don't have the ability to shut it -- shoot it down. maybe today we can shoot one down, but we need to finish the site. this is a good bill, this makes it better. it's the right thing to do for america, for alaska, and for the freedom of the world. i yield back. . mrs. tauscher: i yield to mr. skelton of missouri. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. seton: i rise in opposition
of--- mr. skelton: i rise in opposition to this amendment. secretary gates announced changes in the missile defense program and so testified. i wish to compliment the gentlelady from california, mrs. tauscher, the chairman of the subcommittee that covered this subject for the excellent work that she and the subcommittee did regarding missile defense. they got it right. they increased funding for theater missile defense programs by $900 million. they capped the deployment for long-range missile defense intercepters in alaska at 30 as opposed to 44 previously planned. right now there are 26 currently employed. and canceled the multiple kill vehicle program ken netic intercept program and prototype aircraft because they were not working.
consequently she did it right. they did it right. by allowing and authorizing $9.3 billion for missile defense programs overall. i oppose the amendment. we did it right. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from arizona. mr. franks: i now yield one minute to the gentleman from georgia, mr. brown. the chair: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute. mr. broun: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the chair: without objection. mr. broun: mr. chairman, i rise today to speak in favor of the amendment to restore $1.2 billion in funding for missile defense. just yesterday north korea threatened to wipe the united states off the map. it's unconscionable we would decrease funding for our missile defense system during a period where north korea and iran's nuclear programs and ballistic missiles pose a real and increasing threat to the
united states. in may iran test fired a new two-stage medium-ranged solid fuel surface-to-surface missile which can reach europe, israel e. and the united states. this $1.2 billion cut forces an unnecessary choice between protecting our homeland against longer range missiles and protection of our forward deployed troops and allies against short range missiles. the threat will only continue to increase over the next decade. as technology increases for them. we are decades behind in having a comprehensive multilayered system and i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from arizona has two minutes remaining. the gentlewoman from california has 30 seconds remain and the right to close. mrs. tauscher: i reserve my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from california reserves her time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. franks: i now yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from missouri, mr.
akin. the chair: the gentleman from missouri is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. akin: thank you, mr. speaker. we have been talking about missile defense here and an amendment that relates to missile defense. i think one of the things that's important and maybe a little confusing is the fact that there are different kinds of missiles that an enemy might send against us, so we have different kinds of missile defense depending on the nature of what is sent against us. the debate here centers on the very long-range missiles known as intercontinental ballistic missiles. we have only one way top stop those missiles and that is what's called ground based defense. we have started, we have dug the holes and built the sigh lows -- silos for ground based missiles and this budget is cutting the funding for something we started. the amendment would restore those and finish something that we agreed to so we are not wasting money starting something and stopping it part way. so that's part of the amendment.
and this is a missile defense ich is important along with the other kinds of missile defenses which are are supported in this bill and have been done very well by the committee overall. the second component of this amendment restores what's known as the airborne laser, a very promising technology which is based more on trying to stop a missile as it's being launched. it has the benefit of of being as fast as a flashlight beam that you put on the missile and you kill it right over enemy territory when it's being launched. the budget -- the bill the way it's proposed is going to cut the funding for the airborne laser. this amendment restores that important funding. again this is a program that we have started, invested a whole lot of of money in. and it needs to go forward. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from arizona. mr. franks: mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona has 30 seconds remaining. the gentlewoman from california has 30 seconds remaining. she has the right to close.
mr. franks: i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. chairman, an icbm landing in the united states or over the united states could subject us to an e.m.p. tragedy or destroy one of our cities and change our concept of freedom forever. the only system that we have to defend us in a tested and proven way from that threat is our ground-based mid course defense. the budget as it stands now cuts it 35%. this amendment would restore that money to protect our children and families from such a threat. we need to protect this country from madmen like mr. ahmadinejad and madmen like mr. kim jong il. it is our duty and our first duty under the constitution to do so. i ask this body to pass this amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlewoman from california. mrs. tauscher: i could not make a bert argument for rejecting the franks amendment. let's get it right. we are investing $9.3 billion
for missile defense. because we believe what the president has said is right. that we need to have defenses that are going to defeat long range, short range, and medium range systems aimed against the united states, our forward deployed troops, our allies. don't take the money from cold war legacies. we are going to lose 10,000 jobs of people cleaning up sites around the country. we need to defeat this bill because we want to invest the smartly. we don't want to follow what we have done for the last eight years which is just spend money and not have any oversight. let's get this right. let's have strong missile defense. defeat the franks amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the gentleman from arizona. mr. franks: i would ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed.
it is now in order to consider amendment number 15 printed in house report number 111-182. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? mr. akin: i ask for the adoption of the amendment. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 15, printed in house report number 111-182, offered by mr. akin of missouri. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 572, the gentleman from missouri, mr. akin, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri. mr. akin: thank you, mr. speaker. the amendment we are bringing to the floor here is dealing with a situation that has become increasingly difficult between the legislative branch and the executive branch, or specifically the png penning -- pentagon. that is the leadership at the pentagon is requiring generals or admirals to sign nondisclosure agreements. that is they are not allowed to share their opinions with members of congress. in the past our relationship with the pentagon has been one of openness and trying to work
together as a team. the armed services committee has always been a very bipartisan committee who worked well together. we have always tried to have a win-win kind of situation. both between the parties but also between the legislative branch and the pentagon. unfortunately these nondisclosure statements have a tendency we are concerned with muzzling our admirals and generals from preventing them from giving us data we need to be able to do our job. this amendment is being brought also by the gentleman from california, mr. forbes, and i would yield to him two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. forbes: thank you, mr. chairman. if we don't listen to anything else in this debate, we need to pause a moment and listen to what's happening right now. just a couple moments ago missile defense we heard, quote, unless you have oversight you should not spend money on missile defense or other platforms. and yet the majority and this administration fights us every
juncture to deny the transparency we need for that very oversight. this administration came in, the first executive order that they had said, the democracy requires accountability and accountability requires trp and the first things they do when it comes to national defense, they issue gag orders to hundreds of people in the pentagon so they could not talk about the severity of some of these changes and some of the cuts taking place. they classified the inspections on our vessels so we can't know the difficulty we have with mainlt nance requirements. they refuse to certify that the budget would meet our shipbuilding plan as required by law. they refuse to even send over shipbuilding plan. they refuse to certify an aviation plan that the budget would meet that as required by law. they refuse to even send over an aviation plan and they refuse to give us the outyear pro-- out year projections on what the budget dollars would be. mr. speaker, we have a simple amendment that would try to
rein in some of these gag orders. the majority has sent a letter saying it's just too hard. when they could have exempted every single one of those programs if they wanted to. they just refused to do it. the bottom line is, mr. chairman, when it comes down to transparency with this administration, here's what it means. we are going to be transparent for our enemies. we are going to tell them what questions we can ask them. what we can try to gather information from them when they are about to attack our nation, our innocent civilians. but when it comes to transparency to the american people and what's going in the budget, we are not going to do that. so, mr. speaker, i hope it will be the pleasure of this house to adopt this amendment and put transparency back in this process. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from missouri reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from missouri. mr. skelton: i rise in opposition to this amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. skelton: hi a law school professor -- i had a law school professor and every once in a
while during discussion in the class he would say read it. what does it say? we read this amendment which i know the authors seek to ensure congressional insight into the budget process and the quadrennial defense review. those are very worthy goals. unfortunately reading this amendment and the way it's drafted will overwhelm the pentagon and harm critical department of defense efforts. they won't have time to do much more than comply with this amendment. it's drafted in such a way that just couldn't be done. and i'm sad that a worthy goal is being thwarted by the
improper drafting thereof. the department of defense routinely enters into such agreements to protect the privacy of service members and of course to protect sensitive information. as a result, the amendment would require separate reports on thousands of nondisclosed agreements. for instance, for instance, casework for wounded warriors. health care quality assurance processes. criminal and administrative investigations. accident investigations. contract source selections. accepting proprietary data from private industry. other business transactions that require confidential treatment until concluded. the amendment will result in the reporting of thousands of transactions to congress, each requiring an individual report containing large volumes of information and justification.