1994 Scorecard Vote
The end of the Cold War has prompted the Department of Defense (DOD) to close dozens of military bases around the nation. Before many of these bases can be redeveloped to create jobs for nearby communities, however, the federal government must clean up highly toxic waste left behind by the military.
The Clinton Administration had made speeding these cleanups a high priority. But in early 1994, Congress rescinded funds already earmarked for base cleanup.
Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), William S. Cohen (R-ME), and others attempted to restore this money to the DOD's base realignment and closure account when the Senate considered the Fiscal Year 1995 Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 2182).
The Levin amendment would have shifted $150 million authorized for the purchase of extra B-2 Stealth Bomber aircraft to base cleanup programs. The funds -- designed to allow B-2 production to continue beyond the 20 aircraft already purchased by the government -- had not been requested by the Air Force. In fact, in a letter to members of Congress, the Deputy Secretary of Defense said that continuing B-2 construction would hurt other high priority programs. The letter also noted that shifting the funds into cleanup programs would help speed the economic recovery of communities hurt by base closures.
On July 1, 1994, the Senate rejected the Levin amendment by a vote of 45 - 55. YES is the pro-environment vote.