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Conference Report On H.R. 1540, National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2012

Rep. Michael R. Turner

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Mr. Speaker, in the FY12 NDAA a drafting error was uncovered in section 1045.

Subsection (c) of section 1045 reads ``If, during any year beginning after the date of enactment of this Act, the President makes a proposal described in subsection b'' the Commander of STRATCOM shall take a prescribed action.

This provision should have read, ``If, during any year beginning after the date of enactment of this Act, the President makes a proposal described in paragraph 2'' the Commander of STRATCOM shall take a precribed action.

As the Joint Statement of Managers to the Conference Report makes clear:

Finally, the conference agreement would, in any year in which the President makes a proposal to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the active or inactive stockpiles of the United States to a level that is lower than the level on the date of enactment of this Act, require the Commander of U.S. Strategic Command to conduct a net assessment of the current and proposed nuclear forces of the United States and of other countries to determine whether the proposed U.S. nuclear forces would be capable of meeting U.S. objectives of nuclear deterrence, extended deterrence, assurance of allies, and defense. The Secretary of Defense would be required to submit the Commander's unaltered net assessment, together with any explanatory views of the Secretary, to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives. In any such year, the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration would also be required to submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives, a report describing the current capacities of the U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure to respond to strategic developments or technical problems in the nuclear weapons stockpile.

While Congress addresses this, and any other technical corrections needed in the bill, I urge STRATCOM and the Administrator of the NNSA to construe this legislation per the clear intent.