• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Guest Blogger: Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA) on Missile Defense

    I am proud my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee succeeded in securing a 3.4 percent pay raise for our troops as well as critical advance funding for twelve new F-22 air superiority fighters in the National Defense Authorization Act. However, I am extremely disappointed that the Democrats failed to take this opportunity to draw a line in the sand and show the leaders of rogue regimes that the United States will not back down from investing in a strong missile defense system.

    Without question, the Obama administration has a vastly different political ideology than its predecessor. While publicly stating its intention to project American power overseas, the Obama Administration has been under constant pressure by anti-war Democrats to break from what the left views as eight years of bellicose American foreign policy. The administration needed to cut something to silence their left wing and they chose missile defense. The implications of this $1.4 billion cut in funding will be long lasting and dangerous for our security.

    A quick read of the headlines is all it takes to realize that the world remains a dangerous place. North Korea and Iran represent clear and present dangers to our national security. Two past administrations tried to play the arms control game with Pyongyang and Tehran and if anything, the pieces haven’t changed position on the board.

    Kim Jong-Il continues to develop nuclear technology, test nuclear weapons, and proliferate fissile material all in defiance of UN mandate. In the face of mounting world outrage, Iranian President Ahmadinejad continues to bring centrifuges online to develop nuclear weapons grade material. Somehow in the face of all this, President Obama thinks that cutting deals with Russia on nuclear arms reduction will improve our standing with these rogue regimes and push them to disarm in good faith. This is folly.

    The American people are keenly aware that the election of a new President with a message of “resetting” our foreign policy agenda will not change the fact that a ballistic missile fired at the United States will reach its target within 33 minutes. The threat is real and the American people demand a strong defense against the prospect of a missile attack on our soil.

    President Obama hasn’t been out of the Senate that long to have forgotten that it’s Congress’ Constitutional imperative to protect our nation from external and internal threats. Members of his administration would be well served to read the following quote from a 1997 speech by the current Democratic Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Ike Skelton:

    “Congress is responsible for ensuring that U.S. Armed Forces are prepared to preserve and protect the security of the United States.” Let me emphasize, the key phrase in this statement ‘congress is responsible,’ under the constitution it is the duty of congress, not the president, let alone the secretary of defense or the Joint Chiefs of Staff who are not constitutional officers to determine the size of the armed forces. Article 1, Section 8, of the constitution, which lists the powers of congress makes it clear, “It falls to congress therefore, to ensure that our military strength is adequate to defend our nation and our national interests.”

    The American people, through the representatives they directly elect to Congress must decide how we protect our nation from danger. The best way to exercise this duty today is for Congress to fully restore funding for missile defense.

    The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Guest Blogger: Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA) on Missile Defense

    1. Wiley Blevins says:

      My compliments to Rep Shuster, he has the audacity to cite the Constitution! Congress does have the power in fact the obligation to rise above mere politics to provide the military with adequate equipment to protect our country. With the growing threat of N. Korea we certainly need to improve upon not weaken the missile defense systems. I bet if you poll the people of Hawaii or Alaska or even the west coast following the events earlier this month, even the most dovish of doves out there would want to spend money to build a missile defense to protect themselves, their families and dare I say the polar bears in the San Diego Zoo!

    2. Pingback: Fix Health Care Policy | Obamacare Is An Economy Killer

    3. John63 says:

      Your messages are always thoughtful and well-written, but I sensed that experts and people with an opposite bias might not think that you focused on the most important or interesting aspects of the subject. ,

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.