What: All Issues : War & Peace : Nuclear Weapons : HR 4546. Defense Authorization for 2003-Procedural Motion. (2002 house Roll Call 144)
 Who: All Members
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HR 4546. Defense Authorization for 2003-Procedural Motion.
house Roll Call 144     May 09, 2002
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Progressive Democrats found it hard to accept some of the changes to the military included in the Republicans' authorization of defense programs for 2003. The $383.4 billion measure allowed the military to study using nuclear weapons for "conventional" war, exempted military training exercises from certain environmental laws, and authorized the beginnings of a missile defense system. Progressives were opposed to all three, because they were against nuclear combat of any kind, supported maintaining environmental regulations for everyone, and felt a missile defense system was dangerous, expensive, and unworkable. Joining them in opposition was Taylor (D-MS), who opposed the bill because he was not allowed to propose an amendment to stop the next round of military base closings. To gum up the works, Taylor moved to rise from the Committee of the Whole-an entirely procedural motion that required the House to spend time casting a vote. Progressives supported the motion because they favored stalling the forward march of the bill. The motion failed, 48-356, but victory was not the object: the object was to bring the House to a standstill in the hope that the Republican majority would be forced to change the bill, or at least to allow Progressives to propose amendments to it. This was only one of many attempts that together took debate into the small hours of the morning.

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