What: All Issues : War & Peace : Nuclear Weapons : HR 4546. Defense Authorization for 2003/Vote to Develop "Low-Yield" Nuclear Weapons. (2002 house Roll Call 142)
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HR 4546. Defense Authorization for 2003/Vote to Develop "Low-Yield" Nuclear Weapons.
house Roll Call 142     May 09, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The Bush administration and Republicans in Congress included a number of provisions in their defense authorization bill for 2003 that raised the ire of Progressives. Among those most opposed by Progressives were efforts to make it easier to develop and use "low-yield" (i.e., relatively small impact) nuclear weapons in "conventional" combat. By contrast, Weldon (R-PA) felt the authorization bill did not go far enough to allow these weapons: he proposed an amendment that explicitly allowed for such weapons to be developed. The Weldon amendment did bar actual construction of a "bunker buster" nuclear weapona missile designed to explode underground for the purpose of destroying an underground hideout-but that was not enough to satisfy Progressives. They felt the amendment encouraged a potentially destabilizing policy of nuclear combat, and they disagreed with the use of nuclear weapons for any purpose on principle. They voted "no" on Weldon's amendment, but it passed by a wide margin nonetheless, 362-53.

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