"As the House prepares to vote on HR 872, the National Security Revitalization
Act, I want to reiterate my views about national missile defense.
"I am opposed to premature deployment of a national missile defense system
before the continental United States faces a real threat. Such premature
deployment would divert money from more pressing needs: readiness, theater
missile defense and force modernization.
"As I said yesterday, I believe our current research and development program,
which will allow us to begin deployment before the turn of the century, is
adequate. We are seeking congressional support for our program and schedule.
I will resist congressional attempts to accelerate our prudent schedule. I
will also resist deployment of space-based interceptors, which would be a
costly diversion of funds from the threats we face today."