Idaho Bombing Range Debate and Poll
Debates and Polls
For Debates and Polls
On All Topics
The Fiscal 1999 Defense Authorization bill (S. 2057) contained an amendment that had been added to the bill by Sen. Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID) to prematurely require construction of a duplicative new military electronic combat and bombing range in southwestern Idaho. This Enhanced Training in Idaho (ETI) would cost taxpayers over $30 million.
Both the Defense Department Inspector General and the non-partisan U.S. General Accounting Office have reported that this expansion is not necessary. No funds for such a facility were requested in the President's budget. In fact, the Department of Defense (DOD) is on record as stating that existing ranges in Idaho, Utah and Nevada meet the training needs of the pilots at Idaho's Mountain Home Air Force Base.
To halt the creation of the unneeded and costly new training range, Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV), Richard Bryan (D-AR), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Robert Kerrey (NE), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) offered an amendment to strike Sen. Kempthorne's amendment requiring ETI from the bill, thus saving taxpayers $30 million.
On June 24, the Senate passed a motion by Kempthorne to table (kill) the Reid amendment by 49-44 allowing the range to go forward.