This morning the Senate plans to vote on invoking cloture on the Defense Authorization Bill. If the vote is successful, it will ease passage of the bill in the next few days. About 380 amendments have now been submitted. Chairman Levin said that a package of 35-40 “non-controversial” amendments is ready to be approved by unanimous consent, but the concerns of a couple of Senators held up passage. Yesterday the Senate adopted two amendments by voice vote and rejected two amendments by recorded votes.
Below is an update on the list of the key amendments related to nuclear weapons policy that have either been submitted or are still pending, as prepared by Center Executive Director John Isaacs:
Iran sanctions: Kirk (R-IL), Manchin (D-WV), Blunt (R-MO), Tester (D-MT) and others amendment No. 1084 to require the President to impose sanctions on foreign institutions that conduct transactions with Iran’s central bank. Menendez (D-NJ) amendment No. 1292 is similar. Both these amendments have been withdrawn and there is a new amendment No. 1414 from both Senators.
Nuclear weapons triad: Sessions (R-AL) amendment No. 1183 to require the maintenance of all three legs of the nuclear weapons triad, those on land, at sea and in the air. Hoeven (R-ND) , Tester (D-MT), Blunt (R-MO, Enzi (R-WY) and Vitter (R-LA) have a similar amendment No. 1279 supporting the triad and endorsing all three legs of the triad.
Missile defense on the East Coast: Sessions (R-AL) amendment No. 1185 to require a report on stationing missile defense on the East Coast.
Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs): Barrasso (R-WY), Enzi (R-WY), Conrad (D-ND), Baucus (D-MT) and Tester (D-MT) amendment No. 1307 requiring the U.S. to maintain all 450 ICBM’s in the force with the New START limit of 800 strategic launchers, including 420 on alert or operationally deployed status, with any reductions to be taken equally from the three ICBM bases.
Sharing missile defense information with Russia: Kirk (R-IL), Kyl (R-AZ), DeMint (R-SC) and Sessions (R-AL) amendment No. 1310 barring sharing classified missile defense technology with Russia.
Nuclear weapons complex funding: Corker (R-TN) amendment No. 1380 permitting the Defense Department to transfer funds to the Department of Energy for nuclear weapons activities up to the level authorized if the appropriations level is less than the authorized level. Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) has a similar amendment No. 1386 permitting the Secretary of State to transfer funding to the Department of Energy. Corker and Kyl combined to introduce amendment No. 1401 to permit the Secretary of Defense to transfer the funds.
Support of nuclear weapons triad: Kyl (R-AZ)-Lugar (R-IN) sense of Congress amendment No. 1444 endorsing maintaining and modernizing the nuclear weapons triad of delivery systems, maintaining robust nuclear weapons laboratories and providing full funding for these programs.