NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1998 (House of Representatives - June 20, 1997)

[Page: H4107]

Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I think this is an example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. We have an arms control process that is walking down the line that has taken us to the point where we are waiting for the Soviet Union to ratify the second arms agreement. We have got a situation where we can get a quid pro quo; that means when we take down a weapons system, the Soviet Union, now Russia, will take down a weapons system, and I want to answer just a couple of things that the proponents of this amendment made that are just not the case, a couple of their arguments.

First, this does not save any money. According to the Navy it is $2.3 billion to upgrade the C-4 missile. If we are not going to have the D-5, we are going to have to upgrade the C-4. That is $2.3 billion. According to the Navy, if we add all the termination costs, we are actually going to pay, the taxpayers will pay, 60 million more dollars to maintain the old C-4 missile then to complete the project on the D-5 missile. So we do not save money for the taxpayers according to the Navy. We spend an extra $60 million.

But second and most importantly, there have been no experts here that have said that we should unilaterally eliminate this program without getting anything from the Soviet Union. The assembled admirals and generals who were quoted here simply said we should eventually do away with nuclear weapons. Well, the best way to eventually do away with nuclear weapons is to have something to negotiate with to get the Soviets to and the Russians to walk down on their inventory.

This is giving up something unilaterally that means we will not get a concession from Russia for it, we will not get an SS-18 removed, we will not get one of their strategic boats removed, we will simply make a unilateral concession.

So we get nothing for it economically, we get nothing for it in terms of arms control; it is not an amendment of value, it is a dangerous amendment.