tv U.S. Senate Sen. Inhofe on Defense Spending CSPAN June 25, 2019 7:05pm-7:18pm EDT
submitted. >> c spans "washington journal", live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up on wednesday morning we discuss immigration and border security with virginia republican congressman ben klein. and the north carolina democratic congressman gk we talked about the trump administrations plan to change how poverty is determined. be sure to watch "washington journal" thursday and friday following the first democratic presidential candidates debate of the 2020 race. join the conversation both mornings with your phone calls, facebook comments and tweets. >> senators are currently working on the defense programs and policy bill. next, portion of the debate from the floor. we start with senator jim inhofe who chairs the armed services committee. >> while we are waiting for other senators let me once again
encourage members to come down and talk about their amendments it is an awkward situation that we have here and we are all aware of this that the senate rules state that amendments cannot come to the floor except by unanimous consent. well that means if there is one person who objects to having an amendment come up in being considered, then all that person has to do is object and frankly, that happened last year. we had a couple of members that were holding out for an amendment, non- germane amendment that they wanted considered and they stated they held up all other amendments. well, that happened and it looks like it's happening again this year. but we are prepared the sheer because anticipating that would be the case we passed yesterday the 93 amendments with the bill that we went to as the underlying bill.
so, we are now at 93 amendments in addition to the amount is that we already have. probably in excess of 200 amendments that we have had on this bill since its inception. and mostly, amendments are bipartisan. of the 93 amendments that we adopted yesterday, we adopted the amendments that we had considered in the committee in the armed services committee but there are amendment 44 of those were democrats, 44 republicans and then the rest are both bipartisan. so, this is not really that partisan of the bill. but, anyway this includes an amendment by my colleagues senator graham and senator heinrich in support of the plutonium production which is key to maintaining the stockpile. a lot of people are not aware of the problem that we had with plutonium production.
and consequently we have to be competitive in this area. we have not had a nuclear modernization program and quite a long period of time. so, nuclear modernization has gotten a lot of attention this year. traditionally we have seen bipartisan support for the programs and there's good reason for that. our nuclear force is critical to our deterrent to foster an interim the overall security of the nation. and really, the world. this is our top priority defending america. now, you stop and think about it. the threat that is out there today i often say i looked wistfully back in the days of the cold war where they had two superpowers and we knew what they had in we knew it they had in neutral destruction met something at that time. it doesn't mean anything anymore. you have people run by deranged leaders of countries and these people have the empower to not
have an american city that's the threat we are faced with today that is why nuclear deterrence is so significant in such a significant part of this bill. our nuclear forces critical to our deterrence posture and security in the nation. anyway, we cannot pretend that just because we take a step back countries like russia and china will do the same. and we did, for a period of time in the last administration we did step back in our efforts and a lot of those efforts were nuclear modernization. consequently, while we were ahead in this area, ahead of china and ahead of russia, they caught up and passed us. right now they have a hypersonic hypersonic is the state-of-the-art in warfare is something that travels five times the speed of sound.
it's something that we were ahead of back prior to the last administration and we fall back behind because lot while we were not doing anything china and russia had this during the obama administration it didn't work. so, we know russia and china are modernizing their nuclear forces at alarming speeds while we have no been neglecting ours. in north korea and iran continue to pursue nuclear programs, furthering their goals of creating instability and gaining influence in the regions and we are at a disadvantage and oppose a formidable threat to america and our allies if we don't provide robust support of our nuclear programs and now, and doing it now we are in danger of falling behind. the national defense strategy acknowledge this reality. that's the thing i talked about a few minutes ago.
that we have the national defense strategy as a blueprint for what we have been doing in our defense authorization committee. and, we have been if you're that. so, the nda a takes into account in support all of the aspects. now, the triad we have had people recently say we don't need to spend the amount of money on a triad system, the triad obviously needs train forces to defend for a nuclear division. but when you stop and think about the three different ways one thing can come in to the united states, it can come in on an icbm, it can come on a submarine, working come in on -- so that's what they mean by triad. so soma said we don't need three approach we only need one. if we knew in advance what
weapon was coming in and what weapon they would use to be delivered than i would agree with that. but we can agree with that. we can't lop off a layer or two in the triad or the whole thing will collapse. each provides a different type of protection and combined makes it far more challenging for adversaries to find opportunities to strike. there are adversaries out there that want to do that. so, make no mistake, our adversaries are paying attention both to both abilities. we need a strong and resilient response and enterprise to deter threat. nuclear weapons are not just relative to the cold war. currently we treat them we are treating them that way. half of our doe nuclear facilities are more than 40 years old and a quarter date back to her more. after years of neglect the ceilings are literally falling
down around the workers in nuclear complexes across the country and we will have several people coming down here to talk about that threat because in some states their senators want to be sure that they are doing a good job of maintaining our nuclear capability. so we need to modernize and revitalize the infrastructure if we want to maintain pace with china and russia and if we want to be a credible nuclear deterrence. the cost of modernization is not excessive. it's a small price to pay to prevent a nuclear war. the nda, that's what were considering now, the national defense authorization act fully funds the nuclear modernization program at or above the request including additional funding for submarines and ballistic missile
warheads. they also push the national nuclear security administration toward its goal of plutonium pit production, requirement to meet the needs of our nuclear strategy. so anyway, these investments will increase our capabilities bring us into the 21st century. it's what we need to be doing to implement the national defense strategy and a full range of threats. it is a dangerous world out there. we have a lot of people who don't like america and let's face it, those individuals and i was disappointed in the last administration, talking about the obama administration. the first time in my memory and certainly since world war ii that we have had either a democrat or republican administration. that use to defend america as a primary goal of our country.
instead, that has dropped back. we suffer the consequences. so, we are the process right now of rebuilding our military we did in 2018 that was the first year of the trump administration we increased on then 750 and the build. we are considering at this very moment we will end up with a stronger american i think this year everything that we are doing in this bill is fully implemented. we are going to be in good shape. to do the job that we are supposed to be doing. in the meantime, we have this bill and again, i'm going to quit talking and encourage our
members to come down and talk about their amendment. it can be coming down in just a few minutes. in fact he's due any minute now, senator richard burr is in charge of the intelligence, he chairs the intelligence committee and that is a part of this bill. it is important people understand how far-reaching this is the most significant. and that's part of the real reason that we don't want to give in to the minority leader in the senate who is trying to get us to delay this for another week or longer because of the big show people are going to see on tv tomorrow in the next day. all the democrats running for president. i remember he said the last time we had 17 republicans, this time 20 democrats. anyway, and might be a show but it's not as important than the work that were doing here and we absolutely has to get this done
this week in order to fulfill the obligation we have to the american people. let me again encourage our members to come down and discuss their amendments. we are going to be coming to a vote this week on all of those and they have to make sure that we have a full house of senators who know everything that is in this bill i suggest the absence of a quorum. >> i want to think chairman inhofe and ranking member read for accommodating intelligence committee and tell authorization for 2022b in the nda. i think lederman, one senator schumer for their understanding of why this was important to do. mr. president, i yield my time as much time as i may con