Contact: Josh Holly; 202.226.3988
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and House Republicans today succeeded in adding back $205 million for missile defense in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. Congressional Democrats had cut more than $776 million for missile defense programs and had either defeated or blocked Republican attempts to add the funding back into the legislation.
Rep. Hunter offered a motion to recommit that successfully added $25 million to the Arrow Missile program; $45 million for David’s Sling, a short-range missile defense capability being developed jointly by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the Israeli Missile Defense Organization; and $135 million for a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) fire unit. The motion also called for greater cooperation and integration of the United States and Israeli systems for missile defense and force protection.
Hunter’s statement follows:
“This is a good defense bill. And I want to compliment my great friend, the gentleman from Missouri, Congressman Ike Skelton, for his leadership in helping to put together this bill that passed the committee unanimously and came to the floor, and we can expect a big vote of support from the members of this body.
“We are about to make this bill better. In 1987, the House Armed Services Committee sent a letter to the leadership of Israel. We told them that there were lots of things that they could defend against very effectively. If tactical aircraft were sent into Israel in an attack, they would shoot down all of them and they have proven that. However, if ballistic missiles were launched against Tel Aviv, every single one of them would impact because they had no defenses.
“We urged them to join with the United States in developing a missile defense system and they started what is known as the Arrow Missile program. It’s come a long way since then. It's been deployed.
“And that prophetic letter that we sent them in 1987, of course, was followed by real missile attacks on Israel. They didn't quite have that system up at that time, but we rushed Patriots over. They now have the Arrow Missile defense system up and running.
“But in the most recent attacks, we have seen short range missiles that also impacted in Israel. This motion to recommit is $205 million that is dedicated to integrating our missile defense systems with those of Israel, using the great innovation of Americans and their great innovative capabilities to defend against this new era of terrorists with high technology.”