Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Passes NDAA Amendments to Ensure Robust Missile Defense for Hawaiʻi
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) passed two amendments to the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to increase missile defense capabilities in Hawaiʻi in order to address the ongoing threat of North Korea. The amendments would provide funding for a new ballistic missile defense (BMD) radar in Hawaiʻi, and require the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to brief Congress on their short-term plan to enhance missile defense capabilities in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.
In addition to the two amendments passed today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also secured language in the bill authorizing $10 million for the planning and design for a new radar at the PMRF, and requiring the Department of Defense to carry out an environmental impact assessment for any alternatives to fielding a medium-range ballistic missile sensor for Hawaiʻi’s defense system.
“Just this past weekend, North Korea conducted its fourth missile test in the past 4 months, a reminder of the persistent and serious threat North Korea poses to both Hawaiʻi and the United States. Earlier this year, Congress took an important step forward, and passed hard-currency sanctions against North Korea. But sanctions alone are not enough—we must stop the downward trend in our own investment in ballistic missile defense capabilities to counter this threat.
“We cannot afford to wait until North Korea has launched test missiles on our shores to take necessary steps to improve our defenses. The amendments I passed today set up a timeline for the Department of Defense to take action and ensure the defense of Hawaiʻi, and the United States, stays ahead of the increasing threat posed by North Korea.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also cosponsored an amendment introduced by Rep. Mark Takai (HI-01) to require the Department of Defense to brief Congress on the potential benefits of operationalizing radar test assets at PMRF to provide Hawaiʻi with ballistic missile protection.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has continually advocated for the protection of Hawai‘i and the mainland United States from the growing threat posed by North Korea, and is a strong advocate for U.S. investment in missile defense. She has long favored strong sanctions against North Korea, and was an original cosponsor of the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act signed in to law on February 18, 2016.