Mr. President, today I submit into the record a statement to clarify my position on the development of low yield nuclear weapons. Circumstances prevented me from voting last week on the Feinstein-Kennedy amendment to the FY2004 defense authorization bill which would have struck any provisions that might permit research, development, testing, or deployment of low yield nuclear weapons. At the time, my vote was announced as an "aye" in favor of a motion to table the amendment. Through no fault of the distinguished Senator from Nevada who announced my vote, if I had been here, I would have voted "nay," and supported the common sense proposal of the Senators from California and Massachusetts.
Last week, in a statement entered into the RECORD, I made clear my opposition to the development of low yield nuclear weapons, as well as the robust nuclear earth penetrator. It is absurd to think the United States will start development on a new generation of nuclear weapons at the same moment we seek the world's support in an effort to halt the spread of nuclear weapons and technology.
Senator Feinstein and Senator Kennedy were correct. These weapons don't make us safer. And I thank them for their continued leadership on this vital issue.