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Organization: U.S. Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon
Date: June 17, 2009
Armed Services Committee Approves Defense Authorization Bill
Republicans Successfully Add Several Key Provisions; Efforts to Restore Full Funding for National Missile Defense and Pay for Key Promised Benefits Blocked
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Earlier today, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee approved H.R. 2647, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. Ranking Member Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) and the Republican members of the Committee welcomed the final product after several of their key initiatives were rejected largely on party-line votes.
    The comprehensive defense policy bill authorizes $550.4 billion in budget authority for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy. Additionally, the legislation authorizes $130 billion in funding to support operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Global War on Terrorism for Fiscal Year 2010.
    While many Republican provisions were carried in the base legislation, Democrats on the committee blocked several key initiatives proffered by Republican members, including attempts to restore $1.2 billion cut from key national missile defense programs, prohibit the release or transfer of Guantanamo detainees in the United States, and fund key benefits for the men and women of America’s military and our honored Veterans.
    Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA), Ranking Member:
    "As the new Ranking Member of the committee and someone who came to Congress to work on defense issues, I am pleased with the overall quality of the defense authorization bill. Yesterday’s debate within the committee was a testament to the millions of men and women within the U.S. military family, and we trust our efforts will support them — whether it be soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines fighting on the frontlines or their families who are entrusted with fortifying the homefront.
    "Though many of our efforts to improve the legislation were blocked, we support the final product and will continue to restore critical funding for missile defense programs. It’s ironic that on the same day Democrats blocked Republican efforts to fortify the U.S. homeland against a rogue attack from North Korea, the President of the United States claimed that Kim Jong-Il’s regime poses a ‘grave threat’ to U.S. national security interests. I hope the President, members of the Committee, and the House Democratic leadership will work with us in our effort to restore funding to critical national security capabilities as we move through the legislative process."
    H.R. 2647 is expected to be considered on the House floor in the coming weeks.
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