Monday, September 17, 2007

National Security Legislative Wrap-up, September 10-14 2007

As mentioned below, the Senate resumes consideration of the FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill today. When the Senate last debated the bill, a great number of amendments were pending. The bill is likely to be the vehicle for a number of amendments on a variety of issues this week or next. Click here for amendments related to nuclear weapons and nonproliferation issues.



On September 11, the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee approved $459.3 billion for the Pentagon, about $3.5 billion less than the President's request but about 9.5% higher than the last fiscal year. The funds for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan will be considered separately, as in the House of Representatives. The Subcommittee approved $8.5 billion for missile defense, a cut of $310 million from the Pentagon request, reducing funding for the third missile defense site in Europe by $85 million, eliminating all funds for the Space Test Bed and fully funding the Airborne Laser program. It also cut $15 million of the $30 million for the Navy work on the Reliable Replacement Warhead. The Subcommittee also approved an amendment ordering a review of how nuclear weapons are handled after a recent incident in which six nuclear bombs were mistakenly flown over several states.

On September 12, the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill.

The full Senate may consider the bill in last week of September. The portion of the request to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars -- which now reportedly will reach up to $200 billion -- is not likely to be considered until October or November. Congress is waiting for additional Administration war requests.

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