There is one summary. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (03/21/1996)

Defend America Act of 1996 - Expresses U.S. policy to deploy by the end of 2003 a National Missile Defense (NMD) system that: (1) is capable of providing a highly effective defense of U.S. territory against limited, unauthorized, or accidental ballistic missile attack; (2) will be augmented over time to provide a layered defense against larger and more sophisticated ballistic missile threats; and (3) does not feature an offensive-only form of deterrence.

Directs the Secretary of Defense to develop for deployment an affordable and operationally effective NMD system which shall achieve an initial operational capability by the end of 2003. Outlines system elements, including the use of missile interceptors on the ground, at sea, and in space. Directs the Secretary to take specified actions to implement the NMD system development upon enactment of this Act, including the conduct of an integrated systems test by the end of 1998.

Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress the Secretary's plans for the development and deployment of the NMD system.

Urges the President to pursue high-level discussions with the Russian Federation to achieve an agreement to amend the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty to allow deployment of the NMD system. Requires the President to present any such agreement to the Senate for its advice and consent. Requires the President and the Congress, if such an agreement is not achieved within one year after enactment of this Act, to consider exercising the option of withdrawing the United States from the ABM Treaty.