What: All Issues : War & Peace : HR 4546. Defense Authorization for 2003/Final Passage of 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 158)
 Who: All Members
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HR 4546. Defense Authorization for 2003/Final Passage of 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 158     May 09, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

There were a number of controversial provisions in the military authorization bill that the president and congressional Republicans proposed for 2003. The bill allowed the military to study using small nuclear weapons for "conventional" warfare; it exempted military training exercises from certain environmental regulations; and it established the beginnings of a missile defense system. Progressives opposed all three changes. They disagreed with using nuclear weapons for any purpose, let alone conventional war; they believed national security could be maintained without carving out a military exception to environmental laws; and they felt that a missile defense system was fraught with technical problems and unlikely to defend the country against its most serious threats even if it worked. But their position failed to attract even a majority of Democrats, and the military authorization bill passed by a wide margin, 359-58.

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