What: All Issues : War & Peace : HR 4546. Defense Authorization for 2003-Procedural Motion. (2002 house Roll Call 139)
 Who: All Members
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HR 4546. Defense Authorization for 2003-Procedural Motion.
house Roll Call 139     May 09, 2002
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

The annual authorization of military programs is often a relatively non-partisan affair, but Republicans used the authorization bill to propose several controversial changes. The bill they developed allowed for the testing of nuclear weapons for "conventional" war; it gave the military an exemption from certain environmental laws for military training exercises; and it permitted the beginnings of a missile defense system. Progressives were against all three. They opposed using nuclear weapons in any situation, let alone conventional war; they saw no threat to national security from environmental laws; and they 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, 49-352, 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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