National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004
(excerpted summaries plus sections, on the plans for new, small, and ground penetrating nuclear weapons; and for new testing) (Status indications are as of August 14, 2003).

H.R.1588

Title: To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2004 for military activities of the Department of Defense, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy .

Sponsor: Rep Hunter, Duncan [CA-52] (by request) (introduced 4/3/2003)      Cosponsors: 1

Related Bills: H.RES.245, H.RES.247, S.1047, S.1050

Latest Major Action: 7/22/2003 Conference committee actions. Status: Conference held.

SUMMARY AS OF:

6/4/2003--Passed Senate, amended.

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004

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Division C: Department of Energy National Security Authorizations and Other Authorizations - Title XXXI(sic): Department of Energy National Security Programs - ***

Subtitle B: Program Authorizations, Restrictions, and Limitations -

(Sec. 3131) Amends the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 to repeal the prohibition on R&D of low-yield nuclear weapons. Prohibits the Secretary of Energy (Secretary, for purposes of this Division) from commencing the engineering development or any subsequent phase of a low-yield nuclear weapon unless specifically authorized by Congress. Requires a joint report from the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Energy to Congress assessing whether the repeal of such prohibition will affect the ability of the United States to achieve its nonproliferation objectives and whether changes in programs and activities would be required to achieve those objectives.

SEC. 3131. REPEAL OF PROHIBITION ON RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF LOW-YIELD NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

(a) REPEAL- Section 3136 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (Public Law 103-160; 107 Stat. 1946; 42 U.S.C. 2121 note) is repealed.

(b) CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in the repeal made by subsection (a) shall be construed as authorizing the testing, acquisition, or deployment of a low-yield nuclear weapon.

(c) LIMITATION- The Secretary of Energy may not commence the engineering development phase, or any subsequent phase, of a low-yield nuclear weapon unless specifically authorized by Congress.

(d) REPORT- (1) Not later than March 1, 2004, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy shall jointly submit to Congress a report assessing whether or not the repeal of section 3136 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 will affect the ability of the United States to achieve its nonproliferation objectives and whether or not any changes in programs and activities would be required to achieve those objectives.

(2) The report shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex if necessary.

(Sec. 3132) Directs the Secretary to achieve and maintain a readiness posture of 18 months for resumption of U.S. underground nuclear tests. Requires the Secretary to determine and report to the defense and appropriations committees on whether a readiness posture of other than 18 months is advisable.

SEC. 3132. READINESS POSTURE FOR RESUMPTION BY THE UNITED STATES OF UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTS.

(a) 18-MONTH READINESS POSTURE REQUIRED- Commencing not later than October 1, 2006, the Secretary of Energy shall achieve, and thereafter maintain, a readiness posture of 18 months for resumption by the United States of underground nuclear tests, subject to subsection (b).

(b) ALTERNATIVE READINESS POSTURE- If as a result of the review conducted by the Secretary for purposes of the report required by section 3142(c) of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-314; 116 Stat. 2733) the Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator for Nuclear Security, determines that the optimal, advisable, and preferred readiness posture for resumption by the United States of underground nuclear tests is a number of months other than 18 months, the Secretary may, and is encouraged to, achieve and thereafter maintain under subsection (a) such optimal, advisable, and preferred readiness posture instead of the readiness posture of 18 months.

(c) REPORT ON DETERMINATION- (1) The Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report on a determination described in subsection (b) if the determination leads to the achievement by the Secretary of a readiness posture of other than 18 months under that subsection.

(2) The report under paragraph (1) shall set forth--

(A) the determination described in that paragraph, including the reasons for the determination; and

(B) the number of months of the readiness posture to be achieved and maintained under subsection (b) as a result of the determination.

(3) The requirement for a report, if any, under paragraph (1) is in addition to the requirement for a report under section 3142(c) of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, and the requirement in that paragraph shall not be construed as terminating, modifying, or otherwise affecting the requirement for a report under such section.

(d) READINESS POSTURE- For purposes of this section, a readiness posture of a specified number of months for resumption by the United States of underground nuclear weapons tests is achieved when the Department of Energy has the capability to resume such tests, if directed by the President to resume such tests, not later than the specified number of months after the date on which the President so directs.

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(Sec. 3135) Prohibits the Secretary from commencing the engineering and development or any subsequent phase of a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator unless specifically authorized by Congress.

 SEC. 3135. REQUIREMENT FOR SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION OF CONGRESS FOR COMMENCEMENT OF ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENT PHASE OR SUBSEQUENT PHASE OF ROBUST NUCLEAR EARTH PENETRATOR.

The Secretary of Energy may not commence the engineering development phase (phase 6.3) of the nuclear weapons development process, or any subsequent phase, of a Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator weapon unless specifically authorized by Congress.
 
 
 
 



 
 

H.AMDT.142 (A004)

Amends: H.R.1588

Sponsor: Rep Tauscher, Ellen O. [CA-10] (offered 5/21/2003)

AMENDMENT DESCRIPTION:

Amendment sought to transfer Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator program funding of $15 million and advanced concepts initiative activities funding of $6 million to conventional programs to defeat hardened and deeply buried targets.

AMENDMENT PURPOSE:

An amendment numbered 4 printed in House Report 108-120 would transfer $15 million for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator and the $6 million for additional and exploratory studies under the Advanced Concepts Initiative to conventional programs to defeat hardened and deeply buried targets.

STATUS:

5/21/2003 6:06pm:

Amendment (A004) offered by Mrs. Tauscher. (consideration: CR H4503-4506; text: CR H4503)

5/22/2003 4:40pm:

On agreeing to the Tauscher amendment (A004) Failed by recorded vote: 199 - 226 (Roll no. 216). (consideration: CR H4572; text: CR H4572)