What: All Issues : War & Peace : Nuclear Weapons : S. 1050. Fiscal 2004 Defense Authorization/Vote to Allow the Development of "Low-Yield" Nuclear Weapons. (2003 senate Roll Call 187)
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S. 1050. Fiscal 2004 Defense Authorization/Vote to Allow the Development of "Low-Yield" Nuclear Weapons.
senate Roll Call 187     May 21, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The 2004 defense authorization bill, a blueprint for future defense spending, included funding for the research and development of "low-yield" nuclear weapons. The Bush Administration has argued that those weapons are needed to explode enemy bunkers and weapons silos located underground. During debate on the defense authorization bill, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) proposed an amendment which would have banned the development of low-yield nuclear weapons for any purpose. Senator John Warner (R-VA) proposed changes to the Reed amendment which would allow the development of low-yield nuclear weapons with Congress' approval. Progressives opposed Warner's changes to the Reed amendment because low-yield nuclear weapons, in their view, pose grave risks to humans and the environment and should not be developed for any reason. Moreover, they argued, the development of low-yield nuclear weapons would violate international law and could trigger an arms race. Warner's amendment to the Reed measure was adopted on a 59-38 vote.

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