The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday upheld bill language to appropriate $23.7 million more than the Obama administration had requested in the coming budget cycle for refurbishing B-61 nuclear gravity bombs, the Albuquerque Journal reported on Thursday.
House lawmakers voted down a proposal that would have amended the fiscal 2014 energy and water appropriations bill to provide just the $551 million sought by Obama officials. The broader legislation cleared the lower chamber on Wednesday in a 227-198 vote, the Associated Press reported.
Representative Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) said the additional funding is warranted, particularly in light of pending reductions to U.S. long-range nuclear forces under a treaty with Russia. "The B-61 weapons are 30 or more years old, they are degrading and they are not as secure as they used to be,” he said.
Appropriations language passed by a Senate panel would initially provide the B-61 update effort with just $369 million, but the program could receive $168 million more if it adheres to certain deadlines and budget constraints. The legislative package was awaiting Senate floor action.