By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The chair's markup of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) sought to boost the appropriation for the Guam missile defense system by $100 million, thus raising the funding proposal from $397 million to $497 million.
“This is an effort our office initiated and advocated for since the start of this term, inclusive of our amendment to increase the appropriation for the Guam missile defense by $147 million,” Guam Delegate James Moylan said.
The proposed appropriation was below the $544 million recommended by the Indo-Pacific Command.
“The FY24 NDAA puts our national security first by boosting innovation, providing for our warfighters, and focusing on our defense industrial base – supplying our military with the tools necessary to counter the unprecedented threats our nation faces from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), chair of the House Armed Services Committee.
“Providing for our national defense is the most important task given to Congress by the U.S. Constitution, the NDAA is a critical part of fulfilling that duty. I look forward to next week’s full committee markup,” Rogers said.
The full committee will consider the chairman’s mark on June 21.
“The chairman's markup may not be the final version that the House of Representatives will vote on, as the committee will be deliberating on additional amendments to add to the 2024 NDAA, including several of our amendments,” Moylan said.
However, Moylan said there is strong, bi-partisan support for the increased budget of the Guam missile defense system.”
“While the debt ceiling fiasco, unfortunately, impacted the amount originally requested, this is still very monumental for Guam and our region, as there are many opportunities to seek additional funding for FY 2025,” Moylan said.
In his markup, Rogers noted the committee’s concern about the growing missile threats to the homeland, citing the March 8 testimony from the commander of U.S. Northern Command, who stated: “Today, I remain confident in my ability to defend against a limited attack from an ICBM from North Korea on the homeland. I am concerned going forward based on what we saw in their parade on the 8th of February and what we've seen on their capacity and capability that they could exceed my ability to defend against a limited attack.”
“While the committee recognizes the significant investment in missile defense and missile defeat programs contained in the budget request, it remains concerned about the evolving threat environment,” the chair’s markup said.