Lawmakers Push to Zero MEADS Funding

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee is planning a push to end spending on the expiring MEADS missile defense system, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday (see GSN, May 31).

"We proposed to eliminate MEADS funding” during panel discussions of the defense authorization bill for fiscal 2012, said Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska). No fewer than seven committee members, including Begich, are expected to back the effort to prohibit further spending on the program.

Separately, the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would cut the program's financing by $149.5 million. The full House last month endorsed that reduction in approving defense authorization legislation for the budget year that begins on October 1.

The Medium Extended Air Defense System was being jointly funded by the United States, Italy and Germany. The system had been intended to protect battlefield troops from short-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and hostile aircraft, and was slated for delivery in 2018, according to a previous report.

The Obama administration announced in February that Washington would not provide funding for the program after fiscal 2013, but requested $406.6 million to continue system development under a contract still in effect. The effort would have cost up to $1.16 billion to continue from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2017, according to the Defense Department (Roxana Tiron, Bloomberg, June 15).

June 15, 2011
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee is planning a push to end spending on the expiring MEADS missile defense system, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday (see GSN, May 31).