Washington — The Senate approved at $51.9 billion weapons bill Wednesday that calls for the start of production on the MX missile, the start of development of a new strategic bomber, and a 11.7 percent military pay raise. The Senate passed the arms procurement bill, the largest in the nation's history, 84 to 3, and sent it to to a congressional conference committee to work out differences with the House version.
The Senate bill takes account of opposition to the MX missile in Nevada and Utah, where the Defense Department plans to shuttle 200 missiles between 4,600 concrete shelters, making it difficult for the Soviet Union to find and destroy them.
Ohio Democrat John Glenn proposed denying funds for the MX pending a Pentagon study of what he called a fully mobile system, in which the giant missiles would be trucked around the country on public highways. He said such a system would save a least $7 billion of the estimated $33 billion cost of the MX.