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Center-Right Groups Sign Letter in Opposition to Senator McCain’s Terrible Military Amendment

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

All Opposed…

May 16, 2016

Chairman Mac Thornberry, Chairman John McCain, Ranking Member Adam Smith, and Ranking Member Jack Reed:

Despite costing American taxpayers over $2 billion more than needed (and willfully rejecting the requests made by not only the House Armed Services Committee but also by high-ranking officials in the Department of Defense and in the Intelligence community), the Senate Armed Services Committee–led by Senator John McCain–is seeking to cripple America’s ability to reliably launch some of the country’s most important defense satellites used to secure our nation’s border and track terrorists and drug cartels. Senator McCain’s actions undermine our national security and are the antithesis of good fiscal governance.

America depends on a network of highly sophisticated military satellites to serve as the “eyes in the sky” keeping the Pentagon and our intelligence agencies informed about threats from ISIS, drug smugglers trying to penetrate our borders, and other matters of vital national security.

In order to launch those military and spy satellites into space, the Pentagon needs a reliable launch rocket capable of carrying the heaviest payloads and reaching the ‘high orbits’ where many of those satellites must be deployed. Currently, only one rocket in the space fleet is capable of carrying those heavy payloads and reaching the highest orbits, and unfortunately, though the rocket is built in America, it uses an engine core made in Russia. It’s called the Atlas rocket, and its new American-made engine won’t be ready for three more years. More

Behold Senator John McCain’s Terrible Military Amendment

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Wonder What’s
Behind That Smile?

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain has over his decades in government built a reputation based largely on a few key tenets. As a genuine Vietnam War hero, and as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, he is one of the lead defenders and proponents of all things military. He relentlessly champions “good government” – i.e. spending government money more wisely and well. And he has engaged in a relentless pursuit of “campaign finance reform” so as to allegedly remove the undue influence of political donors on policy decisions.

What the Senator is currently doing calls all of these reputation-al tenets into serious question.

McCain, McCarthy Team Up to Ban Russian Rocket Engines: “Two Republican powerhouses (Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain [Ariz.] and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy [Calif.]) teamed up Wednesday to introduce a bill that would stop U.S. military reliance on Russian-made rocket engines (RD-180) for its national security space launches.”

Except you can’t actually end our reliance on Russian rockets – unless you have a viable alternative ready to go. The United States does not. As McCain’s Senate colleague Richard Shelby (R-AL) points out: “Given the current volatility of our relationship with Russia, our nation needs to develop a reliable, American alternative to the RD-180 as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that may not be for another four to five years at best.”

How important to what we do is the RD-180? “Today, approximately two-thirds of our military, intelligence community, scientific and weather satellites are launched into orbit on the Atlas 5, which uses the Russian RD-180 rocket engine.” More