WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today delivered opening remarks in his inaugural hearing as chairman to review the FY19 Budget Request for the Missile Defense Agency. Senator Shelby is also the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
Chairman Shelby’s remarks, as prepared, are below.
“Good morning, the Subcommittee will come to order. I am pleased to welcome Lieutenant General Samuel Greaves, the Director of the Missile Defense Agency for a review of MDA’s budget request and an update on critical missile defense programs.
“The Fiscal Year 2019 budget request for the Missile Defense Agency is $9.9 billion, a decrease of more than $1.5 billion from amounts appropriated for Fiscal Year 2018.
“Last year, under the leadership of Chairman Cochran, this Committee led the charge in providing additional resources to the Missile Defense Agency to address the increasing missile threat to our homeland.
“We will carefully review the budget request to understand the impact of the proposed funding reductions.
“The President has said that we are committed to expanding and improving our state-of-the-art missile defense system. General Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned us that we need to be concerned about ensuring that our ballistic missile defense capability keeps pace with the increasing threat.
“General Greaves, in your written testimony you say that ‘nearly all of our adversaries are concerned with U.S. missile defenses and have devised various means to complicate missile defense operations.’
“For example, our adversaries are developing missile defense countermeasures, hypersonic glide vehicles and long-range, nuclear-armed missiles that are capable of posing a direct threat to the United States. I hope that you will share with this Committee your best advice on how we can advance the state of our missile defenses against this evolving and increasing threat.”