tv [untitled] May 9, 2012 3:30pm-4:00pm EDT
improve the capabilities while maximizing cost effectiveness by leveraging ready availability government and commercial capabilities to the fullest extent practical. i would like to ask the sub committee chairman for his commitment to continue working with us. i would yield to the chairman. >> you do have my commitment to work with you on the oversight efforts on the mission center program. i appreciate your valuable contributions and your efforts to this. i look forward to it. >> as do i. is there further debate on the unblock amendment? if not, the question is on the adoption of the amendment. so many in favor will say aye. opposed no. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to.
are there further amendments? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do have an amendment. >> the clerk please pass out the amendment? without objection, reading of the amendment will be dispensed with. chair now recognizes the gentleman for the purposes of offering and explaining his amendment. >> mr. chairman, this amendment deals with the question of a missile defense site on the east coast.
at a time when we have so much discussion in these halls and around the nation about the deficit and the need to address the deficit, the question arises why we want to initiate a program that would ultimately spend well over # billion on a program that at this point the u.s. military does not believe is necessary. general jacoby in testimony to the senate armed services committee stated unequivocally that a missile defense site on the east coast is not necessary. yet the bill before us would provide that by 2015 a missile defense facility has to be built. if we're going to deal with the deficit, we have to also be very
wise and only spend money on those things that are absolutely essential. this is not. this missile defense is presumably to deal with the iran. iran does not have an icbm now. the considerable question is whether they could or without would produce some. so we need to be care fful how spend our money. iran will not be able to build a num lar weapon. so they don't have a weapon, and they don't have a missile. so why are we spending at least $5 billion on a system that itself is questionable. we ought to make sure the technology works. some questions about whether this technology would work against a sophisticated icbm. the indication is it does not
work against the sophisticated ibm with multiple war heads and multiple decoys. we need to get the technology right before we spend the money. my amendment would say we can move forward with some planning. and that's it. the decision about deploying the missile defense system on the east coast would be left for later. and in the meantime let's deal with the deficit and not spend our money foolishly and initiate in the bill a commitment for an additional $5 billion. it's not 100 million, folks. this requires that this be built within the next three years. so that's the amendment. i would ask for support. i yield back my time. >> gentleman yields back. chair recognizes gentleman from ohio, mr. turner, for five minutes. >> i want to speak in opposition to the amendment, i want to begin by thanking him for being the spokesperson for opposing an
east coast site being one of the few members of the armed services committee that lives less than 3 # 0 miles for a missile defense silo that has four missiles in it. # i'm sure people on the east could would like to enjoy the protection that exists. those missiles i'm sure he would not say are unnecessary. >> mr. chairman -- may i for a moment. >> no, i want to finish. i would be glad to give you time. everyone knows that the emerging threat from north korea and iran is an emerging threat. we need to respond to it in the future. you mentioned -- general jacoby's statement. he said today we do not need
this capability. he did not say we do not need this capability in the future. the national academy in presenting their prort to us indicated these emerging risks will require an east coast site. this is all about geometry. everyone who lives in the united states understands if the east coast is a threat from iran they don't want to wait for a missile to come from the district all way across the united states to try to respond to the threat. they want somebody to be there quicker, to have an opportunity to respond. aural of our open source intelligence indicates iran can have capability by 2015. the language that we have in the bill with the preparation for the site to meet the threat of 2015. i don't think anybody wants to gamble on the united states security by saying that our adversaries who clearly stated the intention of ibm technology for the purposes of reaching
mainland united states are going to be so slow that we can just wait. we can't wait. you cannot just flick a switch and have a missile defense field. we all know there's apparently a secret deal with the russian where is the president believes he'll have greater flexibility. perhaps there are members on the other side to support the side with the president. i think most of us on the committee, though, a majority believe we should not be responding to a secret deal with the russians. but the real needs we have with national security. when you look at the issue of geometry and emerging threat and you look at the open source intelligence. it all convenes with the same
conclusion. 2015 the united states could be at risk for icbm. a threat from iran. with that i would be glad to this yield you some time. >> you need not turn this into a personal situation. now with regard to the east koes. we both know it would take a missile from iran, which is the only reason for this. it's clear they cannot be defended against by the system. it doesn't work for that threat.
does iran have an icbm? no, they don't. it's not in process. does north korea have one that works? does iran have a war head to present a threat to us? no, they don't. they will not, and i would assume should he not be president next year, the next president would also say the same thing. no, they will not have one. i'm assuming that you would argue against closure of the missile defense site that's within 300 miles of your district. i similarly think that people on the east coast believe that we should have a ro bust protection as we look to iran and the emerging threat. i hope people will not support the president's perhaps secret deal to diminish the defense
capability. thank you. >> gentleman yields back. chair now recognizes jeptgentley from california, miss sanchez, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to ask my colleagues to support this amendment by representative. to begin with, he is correct when he says there's no current or near term threat from iran or north korea. we have to remember that. the current plans we have in particular with respect to russia going back to what my colleague from ohio says has nothing to do with the east coast. russia is worried about europe and having missile defense in europe. they're not worried about our homeland and what we're doing here. so i think to even suggest and introduce that issue into this debate is unfair and very
personal. i don't think it's a necessary thing to do. let's go with the facts. there isn't anything right now or in the near term future to reach the east coast in that way. and we can debate. we can assume. we can stralt jazz. it's our military leaders an intelligence community telling us the threats they see now and in the near future suggest that we do not require an east coast missile field. and we have to also remember about the cost. this is millions of dollars you're asking to begin the process. but it's a five or six billion dollar project. and if you're really interested in having a sound policy and in
putting our money where we need to, the place we should be putting it into is before building a new missile defense site, we should invest in improving reliability and discrimination for interceptors and sensors. it's a much more cost-effective solution to provide a better defense. in fact, this is the recommendation of a recent nas report and iva report. the technology of putting something on the east coast is not the technology that's the best thing to do. we should invest in try to make the missile system work and be robust before we go and build a third site. so i would ask my colleagues to vote for the amendment, and i will yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. chair now yields to the gentleman from maryland, mr.
bartlett, five minutes. >> thank you. i want to thank mr. turner for taking the time last evening to discuss this issue with me on the floor. we keep watching for north korea and iran to develop ha missile to reach us. there's no real threat to him having done that. i would suggest that's not really the threat. the threat is very imminent now. i spent three days in north korea. and has to people may be evil. they are not idiots. and if they launch from their soil they know of an absolute certainty our satellites would pick that up, and within about 30 minutes they would be vaporized. they are real threats. but the threat is not that they're going to launch a missile from the soil. the threat is that they're going to launch a shorter range missile from a ship off our coast. and then the ship will be sunk
and fingerprints will be difficult to find. so we really, really need missile protection on our east coast. i don't know if geometry would permit that all up and down the coast or not. and would be more for an amendment that said we were going to study the needs on the east coast rather than an environmental impact study. it may require more than one site. i don't know what the right solution would be.
they're not going to do that. they're not suicide. it's a risk from a missile from a ship. therefore the geometry, the curvature may require that we have more than one defense site on the east coast. a steamer is all they need. so it's past time that we looked at defending the east coast. i support that philosophy. i'm not sure that's something we can address in conference. and thank you very much. and i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. the chair now yields to mr. kritz, gentleman from pennsylvania. five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
i want to express my support of his amendment. as in this time of fiscal issues, i think it's about the prudent use of our resources, and i listened intently from a scientific point of view. the threat of a missile being fired from is probably not what we should be looking to. i remember him demanding that he tear the wall down. so the cold war is over. i'm not sure about any deals the president has. just sort of confuse and muddy the waters. i want to speak strongly in a
time when we should be more prudent tw the dollars that we're spending to offer my strong support of his amendment and i yield the rest of my remaining time to him. >> i thank you, mr. chris. everyone in this room spend nearly three quarters of our days here on the east coast. the personal concern is no less than any other permanent resident. and we all care deeply about every american citizen. so it's rather disengeneral use. >> i claim my time to make sure everybody is aware that i'm from pennsylvania, which is on the east coast. so i think i have a geographic expertise that exists here. i yield the rest of my time. >> thank you. yes, we recognize that, as do colleagues on both sides of me. the question here and mr.
bartlett really did point out the more immediate threat and likely to be threat for many days to come. this particular missile defense system is not at all appropriate for short range. missiles that might be fired off the coast in any manner or in a container that might arrive at one of our ports. and so we really didn't spend our money here, if we're going to spend it at all. we cannot get an incoming icbm warhead. we ought to be cognizant that to insert into this debate about
this the presidential campaign so not worthy of our time. and to suggest that the president has some secret deal going is really a nice campaign talking point. but has nothing to do with the issue that's before us. the issue before us is whether we ought to spend up to $5 billion in the next three years putting in place a missile defense system that "a", doesn't work. "b", is defending against a nonexisting threat. could that threat come to pass at some point in the future? perhaps it could. but it's not there now, and it's not going to be there in the next few years. we have time to deal with that if it were to come to pass. let me reiterate that the president has been very clear about the nuclear threat from iran. no way, no how. that's hour policy.
and it's in another section of the bill. what are we defending against here north korea. the missiles that may or may deal with north korea, wherever they may be targeted. that could be east coast, midwest, or the west coast, as are the missiles in van denberg. they are mid range missiles. that is midair, halfway here. wherever they may be going. so we've got a missile system that's $5 billion. it's not necessary to defend against a nonexistent threat. let me also say that the russian missions are highly sophisticated and this system does not work against the highly sophisticated missile. so, why are we spending the money? i'll let those of you that vote for this answer that question. i think we ought to be concerned about the deficit. and we ought not unnecessarily spend defense money. with that i yield back the the time that was kindly given to
me. >> gentleman yields back his time. chair now yields to mr. lanborne, the gentleman from colorado for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i could not disagree more with mr. garamendi. heard some of the same briefings, although we haven't been there for all of the briefings, unfortunately. yes, there would be an expense to this. but the alternative would be much more expensive. and we all know that iran is not capable today of this kind of threat, but i think we should all agree that they are working to achieve the capability of having nuclear weapons and having interballistic missiles. they have tested intercontinental ballistic missiles. they are buried in deep bunkers trying to develop enriched
uranium, they say more medical isotopes, but i don't think anyone buys that. so there is a threat in the future given their clear intentions. so there would be a deterrence effect if we could successfully field a east coast site that would maybe have some deterrents. i don't know. but it would at least be an insurance policy protecting our largest population centers in the country from an iranian threat. the european phased detkabgtive approach is geared more for mid-range threats. it's good as far as it goes, but it does not deal with intercontinental threats. so we need some kind of homeland defense. i think it's a wise investment. it's prudent. it would be cost-effective when you look at anything remotely
attempted by some of the bad guys out there. and the institute for defense analysis and the national academies have done examinations of this. and let me state what the national academy stated, and they did come and brief our subcommittee. not everyone was there. but they said our recommended homeland defense system would include an interceptor base in the northeastern part of the united states. so this was a briefing based on an analysis that was called for by this committee. and in previous nba a's congress said do this study. they did the study. this is what they came up with. also, the commander of north co in 2007-2008 recommended such a site. so there have been top military officials in our dod that have
agreed this is a sound idea. so it is a good investment. it's -- the time has come for this. and considering the alternatives, it would be a prudent thing to do. i would urge everyone's support. thank you, mr. chairman, and i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair now yields to the gentleman from arizona, mr. francs. five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, first let me say it's very difficult to add much to the distance of mr. turner's response. but just a few observations. a lot of us are familiar with the civil war general john sedgwick that was trying to upgrade some of his younger soldiers there for dodging bullets. and his comments, i'm told among his last words were, they couldn't hit an elephant from this distance. he was killed about a second
later. it's always astonish to go me that we kind of cavalierly suggest that don't need a redundancy against the most dangerous weapons that mankind has ever devised. i don't think one has to be a missile defense nor a nuclear expert to suggest that a nuclear warhead going off in your backyard is a fairly negative development. and it's always astonishing to me when we have this debate that our system is the only tested system that we have that defends this homeland against intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear war heads, the most dangerous weapons, again, in the history of mankind. mr. chairman, it wasn't mr. turner who suggested that the president had a secret deal with russia. it was the president who suggested that on nationwide tv to what he thought was a dead microphone.
>> would the gentleman yield for a question? >> i'll yield just momentarily. >> just for the record, what the president said was after the election he would have more flexibility -- >> more flexibility. >> if you're still yield, i'm not quite done. one more quick second. he did not say we've got a deal. we'll go ahead and get it done after the election. he merely said he would have more flexibility to enter into discussion. for for some committee to suggest that there was a secret deal is completely wrong and simply not helpful to this process. >> mr. smith, let me just suggest to you, sir, that anybody who believes that the president wasn't trying to prevent the american people from understanding that he didn't want them to know about that comment is simply either naive or deceiving the people themselves. and the notion that when we are trying to do what we can to defend this country from the likes of iran and from the likes
of north korea and not needing a redundancy i wouldn't think would be a major point of debate in a committee like this. as far as the ultimate ability of us to have a redundancy on the east coast, you don't need to be an expert there either. there's clearly an advantage to having a site on the east coast. we've been briefed by a number of different people, both inside the military and experts outside the military, that there's an added protection to this country for that reason. now, let me just say this, mr. chairman, and i'm through. it is my hope that people like us that have advocated for this east coast additional site will have to apologize some day to the american people for building something we didn't need. i hope we do. but i hope we never have to apologize for not doing the best we could when we had the chance. and this notion that we don't build a defense against a
potential incoming ballistic missile with a nuclear war head until it reaches its app skwreu is not a real good plan. mr. chairman, i hope that our colleagues vote down this amendment with the strongest resolve and with that i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes mr. johnson, the gentleman from georgia, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm sorry that we have sunk to the level of partisan politics in this committee which traditionally has tried to operate without going too far down that road. and i'm sorry that we have now embarked upon a -- you know, upon this path. it's unfortunate. and i think we need to get up out of it quickly.
but it's hard for me to ignore the irony of what we're doing here. talking about wasteful spending that contributes to the debt and the deficit of this country, why would we try to scare people about north korea and iran when everybody knows that they're not capable of mounting an attack against us. and then we're going to put up a star wars shield which is unmetered and unproven. that's just the epitome of wasteful spending. and while we're talking about wastefully spending more money on defense, we are debating