Monday, September 17, 2007

Remember the FY08 Defense Authorization Bill?

The Senate resumes consideration of the FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1585) today. On July 18, after the Senate voted 52 – 47 for cloture on the Levin (D-MI) - Reed (D-RI) amendment (with 60 votes required to close debate), Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the Defense Authorization Bill from the Senate floor.

Highlighted below are the numerous amendments related to nuclear weapons and nonproliferation issues.


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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