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Panel Votes To Cut Reagan’s MX Request

April 2, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Reagan’s request to buy 48 MX missiles next year was slashed by a Senate Armed Services subcommittee Monday, according to published reports.

Citing congressional sources, The New York Times and The Washington Post said the panel reduced the president’s request by more than half, voting to cut to 21 the number of new missiles for the 1986 fiscal year.

The 7-4 vote came as the strategic and nuclear forces subcommittee wrapped up initial work on next year’s defense spending blueprint. It marked the first setback for Reagan’s missile-building program after a series of victories in Congress over the last two weeks.

Last week, Congress approved the release of $1.5 billion to buy 21 MX missiles this year. The panel’s vote, however, suggests that future funding for the weapon may face further opposition before the full Senate and House.

The subcommittee, in giving its backing to 21 new missiles, voted down a proposal by Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., to limit MX deployment to 40 missiles and hold next year’s production to 14.

The panel also voted to reduce the administration’s request for 840 M1 tanks by 120.

The full Armed Services Committee is to begin work on the spending measure on Tuesday.