MX Missile Defeated

Nuclear disarmament advocates won a partial victory when congress rejected production funding but approved development funding for the MX missile.

MX Missile - nuclear missile on caster wheels

Early concepts were for the MX missile to be a mobile system, protected from a potential first strike the Soviet Union.

Photo by Fotolia/AVD

Content Tools

An encouraging development was the defeat, in December, of a near-$1 billion appropriations bill for production of the MX missile. By a vote of 245 to 176, the House rejected a major weapons system for the first time since World War II. Following the success of nuclear freeze initiatives across the country in the November elections, "disarmamentalists" lobbied Congress effectively, and definitely did help force the Reagan administration to back off from its insistence on manufacturing and deploying the weapons according to its "dense pack" siting plan. The victory was only bittersweet, however; Congress still approved $2.5 billion for "development" of the MX. In other words, research will proceed. But for the time being at least, production of the missiles will not.