The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas is recognized.
Mr. BUMPERS. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum for about 2 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
Mr. BUMPERS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. BUMPERS. Mr. President, I seriously considered not offering this amendment because obviously I will not win. As a matter of fact, I do not think a single amendment that has been proposed to change this bill has prevailed.
It causes me a great deal of despair to think about how we almost relish cutting education, the arts, public broadcasting--just about everything in nondefense discretionary spending--but you cannot take a penny out of this bill despite the fact it contains almost $7 billion more than the Pentagon requested. And when you ask: `Why are we putting $7 billion more in it than our President and military leaders want?' the answer is, essentially, `What do they know?'
So here I am offering an amendment that I have offered for the last 2 years--this will be the third year--a chance to save well over $4 billion, $4.5 billion to be precise, and I might get 30, possibly 40 votes, despite the fact that people in the Navy itself and in the Defense Department will tell you that the logic of this amendment is unassailable.
We have eight Trident submarines in the Pacific Ocean. We have 10 in the Atlantic. The ones in the Atlantic fleet are equipped with a missile called the D-5 or the Trident II missile. The eight submarines in the Pacific are equipped with a missile called the C-4, or Trident I missile. This amendment simply prevents the Navy from starting to spend money in 1996 to backfit the eight submarines in the Pacific to carry the D-5 missile.
We are testing C-4 missiles every year. And they are just fine. The tests are perfectly satisfactory. But here is the key to this amendment. Here is what Martin Meth, Director of the DOD Weapon Support Improvement Group, said on November 9, 1992. Now, this is as good an authority as you can get on C-4 and D-5 missiles and on the Trident submarines.
Listen to this:
There are no obvious life limiting modes or logistics barriers to extending the service life of the currently deployed C-4 missiles to the year 2016. Therefore, I would recommend that any Navy plans for either restoring the C-4 missiles or D-5 missile backfit should not be supported.
We are getting ready to backfit, take the C-4's off those Trident submarines in the Pacific and replace them with D-5's, despite the fact that the C-4 missile will last as long as the submarines they are on.
And what do you get? What are you going to get for this $4.5 billion? Listen to this. The C-4 has an unclassified range of 4,000 nautical miles. It can hit any place you want to hit. The D-5 has something in excess of 4,000 miles. The C-4 has what we call a circular error probability of 300 meters. That means if you fire it, the warheads, half of them will fall within 300 meters of the target.
Let me restate that. On the C-4--the C-4--50 percent of the warheads will hit within 300 meters of the target. And the D-5 will hit within 150 meters.
So for $4.5 billion, with a 100-kiloton warhead that will destroy everything for miles around, you get a warhead that will hit 150 meters closer to the target, 450 feet.
It is the most asinine thing I can imagine, to spend $4.5 billion to replace a missile that is that accurate, that has that life expectancy. And, incidentally, they are only going to backfit four of the Trident I subs. They will take the other four out of service. And the four they will backfit will be out of service by the year 2016, and, as I said, the Pentagon says the C-4 missiles will last just as long.
You just cannot find enough places to put money to satisfy most Members of the Senate, as long as it explodes. You cannot get 10 cents around here for something that will not explode.
And I will tell you what we are going to wind up with. We are going to wind up with a nation exploding with ignorance because of our misplaced priorities.
I will tell you what is despairing, what is so depressing. It is that you study these issues, you attend committee meetings, you listen to the chiefs of the military services. They tell you what is doable, what is not doable, what they want, what they do not want. We mark up the bill and we bring it to the floor. And no matter how meritorious your amendment may be, if it conflicts with the bill, the distinguished chairman of the committee--who is my friend, he has a right to do it--he just gets up and says, `I move to table the amendment.' People walk through that door over there. He gives them the signal to vote `aye' or to vote `no.' Many do not have a clue to what the amendment is about.
These are complicated subjects. I admit that. But you cannot get anybody's attention on these issues. I have been given 10 minutes this morning to explain an immensely complex amendment that would save $4.5 billion. If all 100 Senators were sitting on the floor, I might be able to convince them. But otherwise we will never get this budget under control until we have campaign finance reform. Here is $4.5 billion you might as well throw off the Washington Monument. It will do you just as much good.
So, Mr. President, I am not going to belabor the point. Here is just another case. We have had case after case since we have been on this bill where the Pentagon says, `No, we do not want to do it.' Now, I admit, the Navy wants to do this. The Navy wants to backfit. But the people who understand the weaponry say it is a waste. The sume of $4.5 billion to retrofit four submarines, which in all probability, if we ever get to START III, we will even have to take out of service before their service life expectancy ends.
You know, if we had somebody to shoot at, maybe this would make some sense. I have said a half dozen times on the floor, and it is worth repeating, if I had made the offer to my colleagues 10 years ago, What would you give in defense spending to get rid of the Soviet Union? I daresay the least percentage that anybody would have given me is to say we could cut Defense by 30 percent if we did not have the Soviet Union.
Now, the Soviet Union's bombers, the Russian bombers, are not on alert. Their missiles are not targeted at us. And they are destroying ballistic missile submarines and ICBM silos. And what are we doing? We are putting $7 billion more in the Defense budget than the Pentagon asked for, and continuing to spend twice as much money as our eight most likely adversaries combined.
On a personal note, this morning at breakfast my wife said, `What are you going to do, Dale?' I said, `I am going to fight another fight with the windmills. I love jousting with windmills.'
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
Mr. BUMPERS. I ask for an additional 2 minutes, Mr. President?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. BUMPERS. `Go down there and find a battle.' I said, `I probably won't even offer it or I will withdraw it.' On the way down I thought, `No. Let's just let everybody vote for another $4.5 billion. Maybe, if this whole thing will get so bad, the President will veto the bill.'
So, Mr. President, I am not going to withdraw it. I am going to let everybody vote on it. And they can go home and tell folks about how those old Russians used to be the Soviet Union, now the Russians or North Koreans or somebody else is going to come up the Potomac River and get us. I have listened to that for 21 years. I heard that every year since I have been here.
Everybody wonders why we have a $4.5 trillion debt and why we have such a terrible time getting our deficit under control. And in the last 20 years--you listen to this, colleagues--nondefense discretionary spending--immunization of children, education, law enforcement, highways, everything that goes in the making us a decent, civilized nation--has gone down. You think of that. The budget is about three times higher than it was in 1970, and nondefense domestic discretionary spending has gone down. And defense spending is up about 100 percent. I think the first budget I saw when I came here in 1975 was $145 billion.
And so many Senators get up here and say, oh, defense spending has gone down in real dollars. When we wake up and realize the security of this Nation does not just depend on how many tanks and planes and guns and bombs we have, it will be too late.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
Mr. BUMPERS. I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the order, the Senator from Alaska has 5 minutes.
The Senator from Hawaii.
Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, it does not give me any pleasure to speak in opposition, because my friend is always eloquent and impressive. But most sincerely, I believe my friend is not correct in this instance.
First of all, there is no buildup in the U.S. nuclear forces; 8 years ago, when we began our drawdown, we also retired a few of our submarines. In fact, we retired 50 of them. As a result, 30 Poseidon and Trident I submarines are now in drydock.
Second, one would conclude that from this presentation there must be cost savings. This amendment calls for the deletion of $150 million. It is a whole lot of money, but if this amendment is adopted then we will have to add $250 million to close up the production and to provide for replacement parts--$250 million.
Is the D-5 necessary? I have a letter dated August 11, 1995, from the Department of the Navy, Secretary of the Navy, and I am going to read the last paragraph:
The D-5 missile, currently in production, has greater range, better reliability, much improved accuracy and most importantly, twice the design life of its predecessor, the C-4, which ceased production in 1987. Even with an aggressive and expensive sustainment program, the C-4 cannot be expected to last the projected life of the submarines which carry them. Therefore, the C-4 will require substantial and costly life extension efforts or replacement by another missile. The most sensible and cost-effective approach to this issue is to continue procurement of D-5 missiles and continue planning for backfit for four submarines.
Your continued support is appreciated. John H. Dalton, Secretary of the Navy.
If we end the production, it could also reduce incentives for Russia to implement both START and START II. While there is every indication that START I and START II will ultimately enter into force, I think it is both premature and unwise to make major force structure decisions, such as immediately stopping D-5 missile production.
Terminating production of the D-5 at this time will severely degrade the capability of our strategic forces. The D-5 missile provides for better accuracy, as the Secretary stated and, therefore, Mr. President, I hope that my colleagues will oppose this amendment and support the management of the bill.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator yield his remaining time?
Mr. STEVENS. How much time remains?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 1 minute.
Mr. INOUYE. I yield back time.
Mr. STEVENS. Is there any time for the Senator from Arkansas?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. No, his time has expired.
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, we have been requested not to start the next amendment until 9:30. That was the understanding. If the Senator from Arkansas would like a few more minutes, we will be happy to let him speak.
Mr. BUMPERS. I thank the Senator very much, if I may take a few minutes.
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there be 2 minutes for the Senator from Arkansas and the remainder to the Senator from Hawaii, and then we will start the vote at 9:30.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. BUMPERS. Mr. President, let me clarify one thing. My amendment takes the $120 million out that starts us down the road to backfitting these Trident submarines. Bear in mind it is always that way, the first $120 million does not amount to much. When you vote against this amendment, you are voting to go ahead and do the backfit. You are talking about $4.5 billion. But all this amendment does is postpone the decision on whether to embark on this program or not. We have at least 3 years to make this decision.
My good friend, the Senator from Hawaii, has said that this will close the line down. I do not understand that argument because there are six D-5 missiles in this bill, and I do not touch them. I am not trying to stop the production of those six D-5 missiles, so there is no threat of closing the line down.
All I am saying is, let us postpone the decision on whether we are going to backfit these missiles for at least a couple of years, because if the Russians do ratify START II, we are going to be right off on START III and Trident submarines are going to be a part of the START III talks.
So, Mr. President, it is an opportunity to jeopardize defense not one whit and make a sensible decision that later on may save us $4.5 billion.
As I say, let me point out one more time, that even the Navy will tell you the C-4 missiles, which are on these submarines right now, will last as long as the submarines will. So when you start on this $4.5 billion program, I will tell you what you get. You get a warhead that will land 150 meters closer to its target, and when you are talking about a 100-kiloton weapon, who cares?
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired. The Senator from Hawaii.
Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, once again, I note for my colleagues that we have received a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, dated this morning, requesting our support for continued D-5 missile production.
I ask unanimous consent that this letter be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the letter was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY,
Office of the Secretary,
Washington, DC, August 11, 1995.
Hon. Ted Stevens,
Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: Last year's comprehensive Nuclear Posture Review recommended a START II compliant strategic deterrent force for the United States which the President approved. The continuing importance of our strategic TRIAD in providing a survivable, responsive, and flexible deterrent was reaffirmed in the force structure defined by the review.
When START II enters into force, the fourteen TRIDENT submarines which comprise the Navy portion of the TRIAD will represent our only day-to-day survivable leg of the TRIAD. Only ten submarines have been or will be completed with the newer 5-D missile. Four of the remaining eight ships require backfit to carry the D-5. In concluding that backfit of these submarines was the proper course for the nation, the Nuclear Posture Review recognized the improved military effectiveness and reliability of the D-5, the operational and fiscal efficiencies which accrue from maintaining only one strategic missile in the fleet, and the need to ensure that missile service life is matched to that of the submarines which carry them.
The D-5 missile, currently in production, has greater range, better reliability, much improved accuracy, and most importantly, twice the design life of its predecessor, the C-4, which ceased production in 1987. Even with an aggressive and expensive sustainment program, the C-4 cannot be expected to last the projected life of the submarines which carry them. Therefore, the C-4 will require substantial and costly life extension efforts or replacement by another missile. The most sensible and cost-effective approach to this issue is to continue procurement of D-5 missiles and continue planning for backfit for four submarines.
Your continued support is appreciated.
John H. Dalton,
Secretary of the Navy.
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, we do understand the feelings of the Senator from Arkansas. However, I remind the Senate that missile production continues in Russia. We still have this force to maintain, and we are following the request of the Navy which, as the Senator from Hawaii has indicated, is really more cost-effective than doing what the Senator from Arkansas wants.
He would require not only the $250 million to cancel the existing contract, but then we would have to go back, as the Secretary of the Navy points out, and recondition and modernize the C-4 before its lifespan is over.
Mr. President, I move to table the Bumpers amendment, and I ask for the yeas and nays.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
There is a sufficient second.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, there was to be an intervening amendment. At the request of the sponsor, he urges that we go ahead and vote on this amendment and then Senator Harkin will take his time on his amendment. That will be followed by a vote on his amendment.
Then we will take the time on Senator Kerry's amendment and proceed in that fashion in order to accommodate the sponsors. If it takes unanimous consent to change the request from last night, I ask unanimous consent the order be as I just stated.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question occurs on agreeing to the motion to lay on the table the Bumpers amendment No. 2398. The yeas and nays have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
Mr. LOTT. I announce that the Senator from Wyoming [Mr. Simpson] is necessarily absent.
Mr. FORD. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey [Mr. Bradley] is absent because of illness in the family.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?
The result was announced--yeas 67, nays 31, as follows:
So the motion to lay on the table the amendment (No. 2398) was agreed to.
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote and I move to lay that motion on the table.
The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will come to order.