Kerrey Amendment on Nuclear Reductions Defeated

Arms Control Today, April/May 1999 | Go to article overview

Kerrey Amendment on Nuclear Reductions Defeated


On May 26, the Senate defeated an amendment to the fiscal year (FY) 2000 defense authorization bill that would have removed the provision, in effect since 1998, barring U.S. nuclear arms reductions below START I levels until START II enters into force. Nevertheless, the Senate's version of the defense bill (S. 1059), which was approved on May 27, allows the U.S. Navy to remove the four oldest Trident ballistic missile submarines from service-a move that could save about $5 billion to $6 billion through FY 2005. However, the House version (H.R. 1401), which had not been voted on as of the end of May, mandates that those four boats fulfill their nuclear roles unless certain conditions have been met. The status of the Trident force will have to be resolved in a House-Senate conference.

Under S. 1059, the United States cannot retire or dismantle any of the following strategic nuclear delivery systems until START II enters into force: 76 B-52H bombers, 14 Trident submarines, 500 Minuteman III ICBMs and 50 MX ICBMs. …

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