May 8, 2014
A key House panel on Thursday approved a bill that would increase funding by at least $60 million for a homeland missile defense system.
The chamber’s Armed Services Committee in a unanimous vote just after midnight approved annual defense authorization legislation that included a number of missile defense-related measures, such as $20 million in funding to begin constructing a third domestic interceptor site. The bill also includes an extra $40 million for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system.
The Defense Department did not seek funding in its fiscal 2015 budget request for construction of a third interceptor site. The Pentagon is currently studying possible locations for the site on the East Coast. The department has not yet decided if it will move forward with building the facility, which is a favored defense project for Republicans who are concerned about a possible missile attack by Iran.
The two existing interceptor sites in the country are located in Alaska and California and are part of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system, which is under heavy scrutiny due to a string of expensive intercept test failures. The Pentagon had requested just over $1 billion for the program for the coming fiscal year. However, the Republican-led HASC panel chose to boost that figure by $40 million, according to the draft bill text.
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