Congressional Record: May 26, 2006 (Extensions)
Page E988                       

                         INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT


                            HON. JANE HARMAN

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 25, 2006

  Ms. HARMAN. Mr. Speaker, last year, the Intelligence Community made 
painful decisions about the architecture of our satellite programs. 
These were hard choices. We have worked carefully to mitigate the 
damage and retain the capability. The future depends on assuring that 
our decisions are implemented well. That requires a talented and 
motivated workforce--both military and civilian.
  The legislation being introduced today requires the Air Force to 
study the impact of proposed personnel cuts on our space programs.
  The bill's sponsors believe that the cuts mandated by the Quadrennial 
Defense Review could have an enormous impact on the space community, 
particularly the intellectual talent that gives us the edge over our 
adversaries and that we have worked so hard to build up over the past 
  Allowing the Air Force to gut its personnel--both Active Duty and 
contractor support--without the benefit of an impact statement could 
undercut the careful measures we took to preserve and protect the 
industrial base.
  The Department of Defense comptroller has directed the Air Force to 
``aggressively reduce contractor support.'' This is a very dangerous 
path. Contractors have formed the core of our rebuilt space capability 
after we literally dropped billions of dollars of research and hardware 
into the ocean in the 1990s.
  While active duty members often are forced to rotate out of the 
command due to the pressing needs of the service, the contractor 
community has provided much of the intellectual capacity, stability, 
and continuity to keep our programs on track.
  Today, the Space and Missiles Command, located in El Segundo, 
California, in my Congressional district, has a record of which 
everyone is proud--45 successful launches, including 12 Evolved 
Expendable Launch Vehicles. We dare not put that record in jeopardy by 
releasing one-third of our brain trust.
  This desire for continuity is also reflected in the Intelligence 
Committee's report accompanying the FY 2007 Authorization bill, which 
passed the full House last month. In it, our Committee wrote: ``Simply 
put, complex space systems acquisition requires extraordinary 
specialized knowledge, skills, and dedicated effort over time.''
  For that very reason, Congress has a right--and a responsibility--to 
understand the impact of these cuts and be assured that our capability 
will not be further eroded in the face of pressing national security 
  I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation.