Sullivan Thanks Rep. Young for Companion Missile Defense Bill

Sec. of Defense Mattis Affirms Need to Grow Missile Defense Capability

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today thanked Congressman Don Young (R-AK) for introducing House companion legislation to S. 1196, the Advancing America’s Missile Defense (AAMD) Act. Also, in a SASC hearing this week, Secretary of Defense James Mattis signaled his support for the continued improvement of the U.S. missile defense system, and the need to expand its capabilities as a result of anticipated future threats to the American homeland. 

“Thanks to Congressman Young’s long-standing advocacy for missile defense and his leadership in introducing House companion legislation, the America’s Missile Defense Act continues to gain traction as we work to bolster our ability to counter the evolving threat from North Korea,” said Senator Sullivan. “Missile defense is a matter of great importance not just to Alaskans, but to all Americans. The prospect of Kim Jong-un developing a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile endangers communities large and small, from the heartland to the coasts. I want to thank each of my 18 Senate colleagues who’ve already cosponsored this bill for recognizing the urgency of this important national security issue.”

Below is a transcript of Senator Sullivan’s exchange with Secretary Mattis:

SULLIVAN: Is the nuclear ICBM-armed North Korea the most significant threat we face right now as a nation?

MATTIS: It's certainly the one that's in the hands of a potential rogue state that we have to consider. 

SULLIVAN: And, is it increasing? Increasing that threat. Is it increasing? 

MATTIS: No doubt. Every test, we assume they’re learning from it.

SULLIVAN: We need more missile defense capabilities for our nation?

MATTIS: Right now, I believe we can protect the nation. But as we look to the future, absolutely.

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