1:57 PM EDT
Chet Edwards, D-TX 17th

Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.

Mr. Chairman, I just want to make a few points about this amendment, and I will be glad to accept the amendment when I'm completed. Let me just make a few points that are clear, though.

Section 125 prohibits the use of funds appropriated to the NATO Security Investment Program for studies of missile defense. The history of this is that in the fiscal year 2004 Military Construction bill, it was a Republican majority that put this language into the bill which has been repeated year after year without any controversy or serious discussion. It grew out of concerns that large sums of these NATO funds were being spent on expensive studies.

I do want to emphasize and clarify that this provision relates to the studies for a NATO missile defense system that is not related to the proposal by the administration to pursue and place a missile defense site in Poland and in the Czech Republic. That is a U.S. initiative, not a NATO initiative, and I want Members to understand that distinction.

I also want to make it clear that I believe NATO Security Investment Program funds should focus primarily on building current NATO infrastructure, including critical facilities in the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Because these funds are limited, I think they should be wisely and directed to where they have the greatest impact in support of our military troops around the world.

With that being said, I will accept the gentleman's amendment.