Washington D.C. – Strategic Forces Subcommittee Ranking Member Loretta Sanchez made the following statement at today’s Strategic Forces subcommittee markup:

“I would like to thank Mr. Turner and all our Subcommittee members for their leadership and contribution to our Subcommittee in this new session of Congress. 

“It is a pleasure to work with you, especially in such a bipartisan way.

“Overall, I am pleased to support this Strategic Forces mark. 

“I would like to comment specifically on the importance of protecting national security in a constrained budget environment, the bipartisan view on the National Nuclear Security Administration programs, particularly in light of the ratification last year of the New START Treaty, and missile defense.

“First, I would like to note that this mark contains important provisions that advance national security while also promoting fiscal responsibility such as: improving satellite operations and supporting the Air Force’s space acquisition strategy by supporting a block-buy/fixed price contracting approach; ensuring efficient development, production and sustainment schedules for missile defense and the nuclear enterprise; conducting oversight of large-scale construction programs and building on good progress related to improving efficiencies at nuclear sites; and implementing New START nuclear reductions.

“Second, the Subcommittee mark recommends full funding for NNSA atomic energy defense programs, reflecting the bipartisan partnership that led all members of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee to sign a letter to the Budget Committee Chairman in March emphasizing the national security importance of supporting nuclear nonproliferation efforts as well as maintaining a reliable, safe and effective nuclear deterrent. 

“The mark also supports full funding for continuing much-needed progress on nuclear environmental clean-up at Hanford, WA and other contaminated sites. 

“Third, we agree on the need for effective and proven missile defenses based on operational testing to defend our homeland, our deployed troops and our allies against missile threats. 

But we disagree on the need for the $100 million funding increase over the budget request for Ground-based Midcourse Defense which was included in the mark, and I intend to offer an amendment to oppose this increase at full Committee.

“I am also aware of concerns about certain funding cuts in the mark.

“I look forward to having engaging debates with my colleagues on missile defense provisions and on nuclear weapons policy next week.  These are important national security issues on which we have differences that merit informed debate.

“In closing, I would like to reiterate my thanks to Chairman Turner and to our Subcommittee.”