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Congressional Record, Volume 131, Number 69, May 23, 1985


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United States tf America Congressional Hccord th PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE 99 CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION Vol. 131 WASHINGTON, THURSDAY, MAY 23, 1985 No. 69 Senate Mr. HECHT. Mr. President, today, the Senate is considering, once again, the seemingly never ending issue of whether or not production of the MX "Peacekeeper" missile will be allowed to continue. To date, Congress has approved assembly of 42 MX missiles. This Department of Defense authorization bill requests 21, significantly less than the 48 originally asked for. President Reagan has already compromised with the new level of 21, and' now, we face this present attempt to essentially kill the MX altogether. Mr. President, I believe it is about time that we stop this folly of having to address the MX year after year, every time we discuss defense issues. The simple fact is that we absolutely must have this weapon to assure the modernization of our strategic nuclear forces and ensure that the Soviets will continue to seriously negotiate arms reduction. Without the MX system, we will have given in to the Soviets, abrogated our negotiating position in Geneva and exposed ourselves to the Soviet's ever increasing and unprecedented nuclear escalation. As we have seen in the past, arms control negotiations are heavily influ- -enced by ongoing defense programs and MX has been a major reason for the renewed talks. Equally as convincing an argument for continued MX production, and defeat of this amendment Mr. President, is the fact that in the past 15 years, the United States has not deployed one new generation land-based strategic missile. In fact, we are retiring Titan II missiles without replacement. Conversely, in those intervening years, the Soviet Union has deployed four new types of missiles and are now developing two additional systems. The facts are there, Mr. President, clearly showing that while the Soviets have been moving ahead, America has been falling behind. Mr. President, the United States cannot afford to take a back seat to the Soviets in any defense related area, much less in our strategic forces. This amendment seriously ties the hands of our arms negotiators in Geneva and the President as he seeks the comprehensive revitalization of our strategic forces. We simply cannot allow this to happen. That is why I strongly urge defeat of this amendment.