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.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.