1996 Congressional Floor Debate
Table of Contents
- On the 3rd of January the House debated and
voted on the bill but failed to override the President's veto of the FY96 Defense Authorization Bill.
Inhofe expressed his concern on 3 January over the Presidential veto.
- On 5 January the death of the "Father of SDI," General Dan Graham, was
lamented by Rep. Frank Wolf.
- On January 26, the START II Treaty was debated
and ratified by a
vote of 87-4 in the Senate.
- Senators Kyl and Smith spoke on missile defenses on January 31.
- Rep. Rohrabacher paid tribute to General
Graham on February 1.
- On February 6, Senator Helms introduced legislation to force U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
- On February 27, Rep. Curt Weldon gave a
long speech on missile defense
criticizing Administration policies.
- On February 28, Rep. Spence released a
short paper on ballistic missile threats.
- Senators Inhofe and Dorgan debated missile
defenses on 28 February.
- On March 15th Senator Kyl quoted James Woolsey's missile
- Senator Abraham
commented on the National Missile Defense Act of 1996 on March 25.
- And on 29 March Senator Inhofe
invoked the anniversary of Ronald Reagan's 1983 Strategic Defense
- Rep. Lee H. Hamilton The Missile Defense Debate Rep. Lee H. Hamilton on Foreign Affairs, May 1996/Volume XVI No. 5
- Senators Pell and Simon praised the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) on its 35th Anniversary on 26 September.
- Rep. Smith of Michigan celebrated the Republican "Contract with America" and its revitalization of anti-missile defense advocacy on 27 September.
- On 30 September, Rep. Howard Berman commended the ACDA on its 35th Anniversary, which occurred four days earlier .
- Sen. Tad Cochran warned of ballistic missile threats from Asia on 30 September.
- Sen. Heflin, whose tenure in the Senate was near an end, discussed his support for SDI and other proposed ABM programs on 1 October.
- Sen. Inhofe explained his opposition to the ABM Treaty and his support for new BMD initiatives, citing a Reader's Digest article: 'Defenseless Against Missile Terror' on 3 October.
- And on 21 October, Sen. Heflin expressed support for increased funding for NASA and defense activities in space.
- On March 21st the Defend America Act,
provisions that were dropped from FY96 legislation because of
presidential opposition, was introduced into the
Senate, and Rep. Livingston introduced the bill in the House.
- ARMED SERVICES CHAIRMAN CALLS FOR NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE
- MARCH 21, 1996 news release.
- Congressional Budget Office report on Budgetary Implications of H.R. 3144 The Defend America Act of 1996 with accompanying cover letter. 15 May.
- Rep. Spratt May 29, 1996 Dear Colleague letter on revision of H.R. 3144, the "Defend America Act," following the decision of the House leadership not to bring the bill to a vote, in response to concerns raised in the CBO report.
- Senate action on 23 May 1996 on the Defend America Act included a speech by Sen. Dorgan against the act, and a statement by Sen. Levin that the Act actually increased the nucler danger, while Sen. Warner and Sen. Thurmond spoke in favor of the Act.
- And extended debate on 3 June 1996 failed to muster the needed 60 votes to bring the Act to a vote under a Motion to Proceed.
- Debate resumed on 4 June 1996, with Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Robb speaking against the Act, while Sen. Nickles and Sen. Helms speaking in favor of the Act
- As an alternative plan to the Defend America Act, Rep. Spratt introduced the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996 - 27 June 1996.
- As of late June, no further legislative action on the Defend America Act was anticipated.
- Sen. Dorgan on 18 September argued against excessive defense spending and wondered where money would come from to support a program like the Defend America Act.
- The Military Construction Appropriation Bill for 1997, in the House, 23 May.
- On 13 June 1996 Rep. DeFazio offered an amendment to prohibit spending on space-based interceptors or space-based directed-energy weapons.
- And also on 13 June 1996 Rep Skelton briefly offered a quickly withdrawn amendment for the procedural purpose of entering into the record a number of letters from generals supporting the program formerly named CORPS SAM and now called Medium Extended Air Defense Systems, or MEADS.
- The conference report H.R. 3610 passed in the House, 28 September.
- The conference report text to accompany H.R. 3610 for Department of Defense Appropriations was printed 28 September and became public law No. 104-208 on 30 September after passing in the Senate.
- House consideration of the Defense Authorization bill began on 14 May 1996 with a statement by Rep. Curt Weldon in support of its missile defense provisions, and Rep. Ron Dellums criticizing provisions relating to BMD, among other matters.
- The bill was passed the following day, after a motion to recommit offered by Rep. Dellums that included reductions in BMD funding was rejected by a vote of 272 to 153.
- The conference report text to accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for F.Y. 1997 H.R. 3230 contained ballistic missile defense provisions and was printed 30 July.
- Rep. Weldon of Pennsylvania supported funding for missile defense under the conference report to the National Defense Authorization Act for F.Y. 1997, H.R. 3230 on 31 July.
- The Military Construction Appropriation Bill for 1997, in the Senate, 20 June.
- On 11 July, the Senate commenced consideration of S1894, the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 1997. Senators Stevens and Inouye expressed support for BMD spending under the Bill.
- Senator Dorgan proposed Amendment 4460 to the Defense Appropriations Bill for missile defense spending on 12 July.
- Sen. Stevens (acting for Lieberman) tabled Amendment 4482 to the Defense Appropriations Bill for theatre missile defense on 12 July.
- On 17 July, in the midst of debates over the Defense Appropriations Bill for F.Y. 1997, Senator Inhofe spoke out against the ABM Treaty and for a national missile defense system.
- And on 18 July, Senators Byrd, Glenn, Hatfield,and Dorgan expressed reservations about the Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 1997. Nevertheless, the Bill passed with a vote of 72 to 27 .
- On 19 July, Sen. Leahy expressed his concern about the passage of the Defense Appropriations Bill the day before, citing the allocation of $3.3 billion for BMD programs.
- In September, the Defense Appropriations Bill returned to the Senate under the guise of the consolidated omnibus bill(H.R.4278)/conference report (H.R. 3610) - following the conference agreement reached by the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and the House. The conference report allocated less money to the Department of Defense than the House and Senate had requested, but provided more money than the President had requested. On 28 September, Sen. Hutchison wanted to ensure BMD funding increased.
- On 30 September, Sen. Stevens also expressed his support for the omnibus bill, which included increased spending for national missile defense. Sen. Stevens (and Sen. Gregg) also discussed funding for Lincoln Lab, a BMD research site.
- On 30 September, the conference report H.R. 3610 became public law No. 104-208 after passing in the House on 28 September and in the Senate on 30 September. H.R. 4278, the omnibus appropriations bill, was still being debated. Sen. Kerry criticized Republicans on 1 October for high levels of BMD funding under the omnibus bill.
Measures for H.R. 4278 were indefinitely postponed.
- S. 1745 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 introduced in the Senate on 18 June 1996, with consideration of the bill beginning with a general debate.
- Sen. Dorgan offered Amendment 4048 that would reduce, by $300 million, the amount of money authorized in this legislation for national missile defense. Debate continued the next day, and the amendment was rejected by a vote of 53 to 44.
- Amendment No. 4173 Sense of the Senate Concerning Export Controls was adopted on June 25, 1996, and a number of amendments were tabled:
- Debate resumed on 26 June with Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Threat Reduction, with debate on Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Amendment 4349 emergency assistance program to train and equip State and local emergency personnel to respond to domestic terrorist WMD incidents. June 27, 1996.
- Additional amendments were tabled on 26 June, including:
- Amendment 4431 on NMD Joint Program Office - June 28, 1996.
- Amendment 4420 colloquy on Air Force NMD proposals - 28 June 1996.
- Debate on Senator Brown's Amendment 4413 requring a Presidential Report on casualties from an attack by Weapons of Mass Destruction - 28 June 1996.
- Senator Kyl's Amendment 4425 on a Surgical Strike Vehicle for defeating weapons of mass destruction - 28 June 1996.
- Approval of Amendment 4433 to section 232, extending the prohibition on implementing an international agreement on TMD systems, along with modification of section 233 to express the sense of the Senate concerning multilateralization, thereby addressing legal and policy issues raised by the Administration - 28 June 1996.
- Following a review of pending amendments , and a debate on ABM Treaty multilateralization the Defense Authorization concluding debate on June 28, 1996, agreed that a future debate would be held on
- On July 10, the Senate resumed consideration of the S. 1745 as amended, with Sen. Boxer and Sen. Glenn speaking against passage. Sen. Thurmond commended his colleagues for their work in support of the bill. The bill passed with a vote of 68 to 31.
- On 2 August, Sen. Warner supported the conference report for the 1997 Defense Authorization Bill, H.R. 3230, which would authorize spending levels above President Clinton's requests for missile defense.
- On 7 September, Sen. Smith supported increased spending for the BMD Organization under the conference report for the Defense Authorization Bill for F.Y. 1997. Sen. Inhofe also wanted greater spending on national missile defense.
- Senators Thurmond and Nunn supported the conference report for H.R. 3230, which included increased spending on BMD programs on 9 September. Sen. Byrd, however, expressed reservations about the conference report because of its spending priorities.
- The Bill included the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996 which was explained in the conference report.
- Senators debated the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for F.Y. 1997 on 10 September. The report passed with a vote of 73 to 26.
Implemented by Christina Lindborg, 1997 Scoville Fellow
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Updated Friday, March 07, 1997