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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Reducing our Debts & Deficits Through Non-Nuclear Proliferation

Jun 15, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) urged his colleges on the House floor to reprioritize funding that will be used to purchase 1,000 Long Range Standoff military weapons and instead use that funding to reduce the United States’ unsustainable debt and deficits during debate of the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill.

Below is a video and transcript of the speech.

Mr. Chairman, the Air Force currently plans to acquire 1,000 next generation air launched cruise missiles, also known as the Long Range Standoff weapon.

This is double the size of the existing nuclear-armed cruise missile arsenal.

However, many experts have already told us there is no need for nuclear armed cruise missiles.

We already have the most advanced bomber ever created in our arsenal, the B-2 stealth bomber, and the Air Force will be acquiring new B-21 stealth bombers.

These bombers are capable of penetrating enemy airspace and dropping a nuclear bomb directly above a target, making nuclear armed cruise missiles redundant.

And if we decide we want to shoot nuclear missiles from thousands of miles away, we still have very expensive submarines and very expensive ICBMs capable of doing just that.

Instead of investing more dollars into our outdated and oversized nuclear arsenal, we must make smart investments on other priorities that actually keep Americans safe, or on reducing our unsustainable debt and deficits.

Yet, last year’s budget doubled down and accelerated the production of the missile by two years to FY2025.

The accelerated procurement schedule will cost taxpayers an additional $75.8 million more in FY2017 than originally planned in the FY2015 acquisition schedule.

But that makes little sense when there is so much uncertainty about whether this missile is affordable or even necessary.

That’s why my amendment will put $75.8 million towards deficit reduction by placing funding for the Long Range Standoff weapon back on its FY2015 acquisition schedule.

There’s no need to rush development when, as little as two years ago, the Air Force had requested a delay in procurement to pay for higher priorities, before changing its mind a year later.

On top of that, the existing air launched cruise missile and warhead isn’t being phased out until the 2030’s.

I ask my colleagues to support my common sense amendment to maintain funding at the program’s FY 2015 acquisition schedule, and save the taxpayers $75.8 million in the process.

Thank you, and I reserve the balance of my time.