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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005

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Location: Washington, DC


NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005 -- (House of Representatives - May 20, 2004)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 648 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, H.R. 4200.

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AMENDMENT NO. 9 OFFERED BY MRS. TAUSCHER

Mrs. TAUSCHER. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

The text of the amendment is as follows:

Amendment No. 9 offered by Mrs. Tauscher:

At the end of title II, insert the following new section:

SEC. 2__. ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS FOR ORDNANCE TECHNOLOGY AND FOR STRATEGIC CAPABILITY MODERNIZATION.

(a) AIR FORCE CONVENTIONAL MUNITIONS.-The amount in section 201(3) for research, development, test, and evaluation for the Air Force is hereby increased by $25,000,000, of which-

(1) $10,000,000 is to be available in program element 0602602F, Conventional Munitions, for ordnance technology applicable to defeat of weapons of mass destruction and hardened, deeply buried targets; and

(2) $15,000,000 is to be available in program element 0603601F, Conventional Weapons Technology, for ordnance technology applicable to defeat of weapons of mass destruction and hardened, deeply buried targets.

(b) DEFENSE-WIDE STRATEGIC CAPABILITY MODERNIZATION.-The amount in section 201(4) for research, development, test, and evaluation, Defense-wide, is hereby increased by $11,557,000, to be available for program element 0603910D8Z, Strategic Capability Modernization.

(c) OFFSET.-The amount in section 3101(a)(1) for weapons activities is hereby reduced by $36,557,000, of which-

(1) $27,557,000 is to be derived from the Stockpile Services Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator study; and

(2) $9,000,000 is to be derived from the Stockpile Services Advanced Concepts program.

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Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment for a number of reasons. First, there are serious doubts within the scientific community about whether the so-called bunker busters will actually be able to destroy deeply buried targets. Second, why would we even want to use a first-strike nuclear weapon? The RNEP would result in high levels of radioactive fallout and would put civilians and U.S. troops in harm's way. And, finally, if we decide to develop new tactical nuclear weapons, that means resume testing at the Nevada test site; and for those of us who live downwind, those are fighting words.

Supporters of these weapons say that they do not necessarily lead to testing. But if we are going to spend a half billion dollars over the next 5 years on a new weapons program, we are going to have to test it at some point or, quite frankly, we are just throwing away taxpayer dollars that should go to other weapons programs that actually stand a chance of defending Americans.

I close with a comment from an editorial in today's Salt Lake Tribune: "If the strategic foolishness of the project were not enough to condemn it, the waste of money should be. At a time when we have so many genuine national security needs, every dime piddled away on Cold War technology not only fails to save lives, it actually endangers them."
I thank the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Tauscher) for her leadership on this issue.

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