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March 19. 2013 7:48PM

Sen. Ayotte's amendment on missle program spending halted

WASHINGTON - Efforts by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, to cut what she calls a "defense program that the Pentagon will never use,'' were rebuffed again by the Senate this week.

Ayotte introduced an amendment striking funding in a catch-all spending bill for a Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS).

Her office said Tuesday that this was a different system than the one President Obama first ordered halted, then, in light of a North Korean threat last week, ordered reinstated.

The Ayotte amendment would have eliminated $381 million in funding for MEADS and restored funding to the Defense Department's operations and maintenance budget to help maintain military readiness. The amendment was blocked from receiving a vote Monday.

"It makes no sense to spend hundreds of millions more on a defense program that the Pentagon will never use. It's time to turn off the spigot on this 'Missile to Nowhere,' which has already cost taxpayers billions and will never see the light of day," Ayotte said in a release Tuesday. "We can't afford to spend money on unnecessary programs that will never be delivered to our troops, especially as the Defense Department absorbs disproportionate sequestration cuts. My amendment would strike funding for this wasteful missile system and ensure that those funds are used instead to support our warfighters and improve military readiness."

Ayotte said "This is a test for the Senate. If we can't eliminate funding for a system that the Pentagon will never use, how will we ever be able to tackle the bigger drivers of our deficits and debt?"


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