Monday, July 23, 2007

Updated List of Key Senate Amendments to FY08 Defense Authorization Bill

After the Senate voted 52 - 47 for cloture last Wednesday on the Levin - Reed amendment on Iraq (with 60 votes required to close debate), Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the Defense Authorization bill from the Senate floor. The bill may not be reconsidered until September after General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker submit their report on the situation in Iraq.

Highlighted below are the numerous amendments related to nuclear weapons and nonproliferation issues. New information is bolded.


Missile defense

Sens. Vitter (R-LA) & Kyl (R-AZ) filed amendment No. 2010 to authorize an additional $87 million for Aegis missile defense for destroyers. Sens. Kyl (R-AZ), Vitter, Inhofe, Lieberman, and Lott filed amendment No. 2178 for the same purpose.

National Guard equipment from missile defense funds

Sen. Dodd (D-CT) filed amendment No. 2033 to provide $500 million for the Army National Guard to repair and replace war-battered equipment to address critical shortfalls identified by the National Guard Bureau, with the funds to be cut from the European Missile Defense system ($225 million) and Airborne Laser ($275 million).

Retirement of B-52 bombers

Sens. Conrad (D-ND), Dorgan, Landrieu and Vitter filed amendments No. 2053 & 2172 to require maintaining 63 B-52 bombers with 11 in reserve.

Chemical weapons destruction

Sens. McConnell (R-KY), Salazar, Allard and Bunning filed amendment No. 2061 to increase funding for chemical weapons demilitarization at Blue Grass Army Depot, Kentucky, and Pueblo Chemical Activity, Colorado, by $49 million.

Nuclear terrorism

Sens. Clinton (D-NY) & Whitehouse (D-RI) filed amendments No. 2109 and No. 2222, a version of her bill S. 1705, the Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Act, to establish the position of “Senior Advisor to the President for the Prevention of Nuclear Terrorism” and urging the President to make the prevention of a nuclear terrorist attack on the United States of the highest priority and to accelerate programs, requesting additional funding as appropriate, to prevent nuclear terrorism.

Cost of replacing nuclear warheads

Sen. Bingaman (D-NM) filed amendment No. 2118 which would add to the nuclear posture review included in the Defense Authorization bill requirements that any plan for replacing or modifying the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile include an assessment of the estimated cost and anticipated schedule for replacing warheads.

Nuclear workers

Sen. Reid (D-NV) filed amendment No. 2170 to include nuclear program workers in the occupational illness compensation program.

Protecting space assets

Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) filed amendment No. 2223 saying that it is the policy of the United States to protect its military and civilian satellites and to research all potential means of doing so.

Space test bed

Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) filed amendment No. 2225 to restore the Administration’s $10 million request for the Ballistic Missile Defense Space Test bed that the Senate Armed Services Committee had cut.

Minuteman III missiles

Sens. Baucus (D-MT) and Tester (D-MT) filed amendment No. 2325 to bar more than 40 Minuteman III missiles from being removed from the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana until the Pentagon identifies additional missions for the base. The Air Force had planned to retire 50 of the 80 missiles.


Protection against Iranian ballistic missiles

Sessions (R-AL) modified amendment No. 2024 stating that it should be the policy of the United States to develop and deploy, as soon as technologically possible, an effective defense against “the threat from Iran” was adopted 90 – 5 (July 12). [Note: See my previous post about the Sessions amendment for more information.]

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