Legislator to push for acceleration of missile defense program

House Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said Tuesday that he intends to push for language during conference negotiations on the fiscal 2007 defense authorization bill that would accelerate the Pentagon's missile defense program.

Hunter's remarks come a week after North Korea's failed test of a Taepodong-2 long-range missile. Hunter could not provide details of his plan, and said he had not yet spoken with Senate Armed Services Chairman John Warner, R-Va., on the issue.

However, he noted that his goal is to speed the military's ability to intercept incoming ballistic missiles, in light of the North Korea threat. "It is better at this point to have something than to have nothing," Hunter said.

Meanwhile, Hunter chided Democrats for their continued opposition to missile defense, a program started more than two decades ago and has grown into the most expensive system in the annual Pentagon budget. "It's time for the Democrats to stop fighting the ghost of Ronald Reagan," Hunter said.

Several House Democrats attempted to cut the fiscal 2007 budget for missile defense by $4.7 billion during floor debate in May on the defense authorization bill, amid concerns that the system is unproven and money could be spent better elsewhere. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., was defeated 301-124.

Had it succeeded, Hunter said, it would have devastated the program. House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, mentioned the Tierney amendment during a briefing with reporters Tuesday.

"As you may recall, Congressman Tierney had an amendment during the defense authorization bill to slash money for missile defense. It was rejected, but I think we -- and the rest of the world -- feel much safer if in fact we have a missile defense system up and operating," he said.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said Tuesday he will push legislation to add North Korea to a nonproliferation act that outlines sanctions against foreign individuals who supply weapons technology to Iran and Syria.

"The time has come for the United States to treat transfers of these items to North Korea no less seriously than we already treat transfers of these items to Iran and Syria," Frist said in a statement. North Korea last week test-fired seven missiles, apparently including one that potentially could reach the United States.

The nonproliferation law, which was passed in 2000, originally applied only to Iran. It was expanded to include Syria in 2005. Under the measure, the president can impose sanctions on any foreign person who transfers goods and technologies to those countries when the transfer contributes to their ability to produce missiles, nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. Foreign persons who acquire such items from Iran or Syria also are subject to sanctions.

Susan Davis contributed to this report.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.