What: All Issues : War & Peace : Missile Defense Systems : On passage of a Democratic amendment to the fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act (S.2400) permitting deployment of the Bush administration-backed Missile Defense Program (a ground-based, midcourse missile defense system that would be used to intercept enemy nuclear warheads before they reach the United States) only after the mission-related capabilities of the system have been confirmed by operationally realistic testing. (2004 senate Roll Call 124)
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On passage of a Democratic amendment to the fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act (S.2400) permitting deployment of the Bush administration-backed Missile Defense Program (a ground-based, midcourse missile defense system that would be used to intercept enemy nuclear warheads before they reach the United States) only after the mission-related capabilities of the system have been confirmed by operationally realistic testing.
senate Roll Call 124     Jun 17, 2004
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Progressives backed this "fly before you buy" amendment offered by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to the fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act (S.2400). Her amendment would allow deployment of the Bush administration-backed Missile Defense Program (a ground-based, midcourse missile defense system that would be used to intercept enemy nuclear warheads before they reach the United States) only after the mission-related capabilities of the system have been confirmed by operationally realistic testing. Said Boxer, "It is very simple--fly before you buy, test before you deploy." Progressives hailed this as a "common sense" amendment that simply requires the Defense secretary certify that the capabilities of the system to perform its defense mission have been confirmed by operationally realistic testing of the system. Said Boxer: "My amendment does not cut any money from this program. My amendment does not cut one dollar from the program. However, it says, do not spend the money until the system is operationally tested. We will have other attempts because other people will be taking out some funding. I do not touch the funding. All I say is, test it before you deploy it." The Boxer amendment was defeated 42-57 meaning the current MDP plan will not have to include any operational testing before it is deployed in a real-life emergency. Conservatives argued that ordering such testing would "in effect" stop the progress of the missile defense program. Said Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), "The real issue is, if you take down any part of it, it is so intertwined and interconnected, you slow down and stop the whole system." Responding to Boxer's "fly before you buy" remark, Kyl said: "'Fly before you buy' ordinarily is the way we buy military equipment, but not always."

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