The Democratic-led Senate Armed Services Committee passed its version of the fiscal year 2012 defense authorization bill on June 16, setting up a tug-of-war over nuclear weapons policy with the Republican-led House of Representatives, which passed its version May 26. The House and Senate versions of the bill differ significantly on nuclear policy directives to the Obama administration, which has threatened to veto the House bill.
The White House on May 24 issued a Statement of Administration Policy on the House bill, objecting to sections that “impinge on the President’s authority to implement the New START Treaty and to set
The Senate committee bill would require the secretary of defense to submit reports on the “military effectiveness” of
However, the bill would not set conditions for nuclear arsenal reductions.
No date has been set for the full Senate to vote on the bill. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has said he may offer amendments to the bill that would mirror the House language more closely. To become law, the House and Senate defense authorization bills must be reconciled, and the resulting legislation must be passed by both chambers and signed by the president.