Rep. John Garamendi on Tuesday introduced an amendment to eliminate $70.2 million for an East Coast missile defense system he called a waste of money.
Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, and his co-authors, Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., emphasized that military leaders have said that the untested system is unnecessary.
“This boondoggle lavishes millions of taxpayer dollars on a project that the Department of Defense and outside experts have said is not needed and will not work,” said Garamendi, a House Armed Services Committee member, in a news release.
“Instead, we should invest this money in effective 21st century national security programs, in proven investments for job creation such as infrastructure, or in responsibly reducing the deficit.”
Nadler said that the threat “doesn’t match any threat to New York that will occur in the near future.”
“Congress must understand that in order to keep New Yorkers — and all Americans — safe, we need to fund a military that is equipped to deal with the security challenges of the 21st century,” he said. “Members of Congress should stop forcing their pet programs into the defense bill — especially when the Pentagon says that it is unnecessary.”
Wrote Vice Admiral James Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, and Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, commander of the Joint Functional Command for Integrated Missile Defense, in a letter to Congress in June, “There is no validated military requirement to deploy an East Coast missile defense site.”
Earlier this year, Syring told the House Armed Services Committee that he would not be able to use additional funds for an East Coast site this year because the Pentagon has only begun to study the concept. Funding for that study has already been funded.
There have also been no successful tests of missile intercept system of the kind imagined for the East Coast, the congressmen added.