Washington, D.C.— Today Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO), Ranking Member Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Terry Everett (R-AL) made the following statements on DoD’s plan to engage a rogue U.S. government satellite.

  Sometime between late February and early March, a non-responsive U.S. government owned satellite will uncontrollably re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.  The Administration plans to destroy the non-responsive satellite to mitigate the potential risks to human populations.

 “I attended a Congressional briefing this morning by the Department of Defense, and I am satisfied that the destruction of the malfunctioning satellite is the best option available to protect public safety.  However, it should be understood by all, at home and abroad, that this is an exceptional circumstance and should not be perceived as the standard U.S. policy for dealing with errant satellites,” said Chairman Ike Skelton. 

 “The House Armed Services Committee will work closely with the Department of Defense and other concerned agencies to oversee the broader policy implications of this action in relation to our space assets.”

 “Considering the potential outcomes, the administration is undertaking a prudent course of action.  I have been thoroughly briefed on the plan and look forward to a successful engagement,” said Ranking Member Duncan Hunter.

 “The United States put this satellite in orbit, and we have a responsibility to protect the population from any potential harm upon re-entry.  As the Administration moves forward, I am advising that they do so in an open manner and in consultation with our allies and the international community,” said Subcommittee Chairman Ellen Tauscher.

 “Just like our partners in space, we need to be responsible for the risks we create. This is a matter of public safety.”

 “After receiving a detailed briefing from the leadership of the Department of Defense and the National Security Council, I believe that the human safety risk posed by this falling satellite is unacceptable and must be addressed. The decision to engage this satellite is both prudent and responsible and I am satisfied that this operation will be conducted in a successful manner,” Subcommittee Ranking Member Terry Everett said.