What: All Issues : Environment : Wildlife/Forest/Wilderness/Land Conservation : HR 4546. Defense Authorization for 2003/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Authorize Spending on a Missile Defense Program and Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons and Exempt the Military from Environmental Regulations. (2002 house Roll Call 136)
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HR 4546. Defense Authorization for 2003/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Authorize Spending on a Missile Defense Program and Low-Yield Nuclear Weapons and Exempt the Military from Environmental Regulations.
house Roll Call 136     May 09, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In their package of military programs for 2003, the Republicans proposed several controversial items. The bill permitted the military to explore using small nuclear weapons in "conventional" warfare; it lifted certain environmental regulations for military training exercises; and it provided for the beginnings of a missile defense system. Progressives opposed these changes. They opposed using nuclear weapons for any purpose, and they believed a missile defense system was a technical impossibility that would be unlikely to stop the most serious threats even if it worked. Progressives also fundamentally disagreed that the military needed an exemption from environmental regulations for the sake of national security. They therefore opposed the "rule" on the authorization bill: the set of instructions for debate that included the time each side would be given to speak and the number of amendments they would be allowed to offer. To kill the rule was to effectively vote down the bill itself. However, despite being joined in opposition by almost all Democrats, Progressive opposition was not enough to vote down the rule. It passed 216-200, and the stage was set for debate on the authorization bill itself.

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