A compromise version of 2013 Pentagon policy legislation will require defense officials to study options for a GOP-proposed East Coast missile shield — but it won't clear the military to spend funds to begin erecting it.
"What we have is good, compromise legislation that includes the studies," a congressional source tells Defense News.
What a House-Senate conference panel that is set to approve a compromise version of the defense authorization bill is set to approve on Dec. 18 is language that would require the Pentagon to conduct several studies about the GOP proposal that were called for in the lower chamber's bill.
But the compromise bill will not authorize the Pentagon to spend any 2013 monies to break ground or bend steel related to the construction of the proposed system.
"What this does is get them studying it," the source said. "From there, we'll have to kind of cajole them to spend money on it."
Many congressional Democrats have expressed opposition to the idea of setting up an East Coast system that Republicans say is needed to knock down Iranian missiles.
Pentagon officials, so far, have mostly been lukewarm about the need for such a system.