Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Obama Officials: U.S. Not Backing Away from Nuclear Security Obama Officials: U.S. Not Backing Away from Nuclear Security

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member or subscriber? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Obama Officials: U.S. Not Backing Away from Nuclear Security

Senior Obama administration officials are insisting the government is not retreating from its focus on nuclear security despite proposed funding cuts.

The administration's fiscal 2015 budget proposal, announced last week, would eliminate in excess of $220 million in funding for nuclear security and nonproliferation efforts, USA Today reported on Saturday.

 

One of the largest requested cuts in nuclear nonproliferation spending would come from the International Material Protection and Cooperation initiative. The administration is seeking just $305.5 million for the program, compared to the $419.5 million appropriated for the current fiscal cycle. The administration is also requesting $108 million less than current appropriated levels for the Global Threat Reduction Initiative.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said the decline in requested nonproliferation funding is due to an administration determination to mothball a controversial effort to construct a mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility that would convert excess plutonium into nuclear-reactor fuel.

The decision to shelve the MOX facility in South Carolina explains 54 percent of the reduction in sought-after nonproliferation funds.

 

Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, the White House's point person on weapons of mass destruction, in a recent talk at Harvard University's Belfer Center, rejected any suggestion that the administration is less focused on global nuclear security.

"I don't think there is a problem with complacency," she said. "We are seized with this challenge -- with preventing sensitive materials from falling into the hands of terrorists or others who could use it to do us harm."

Still, some arms control advocates question the Obama administration's commitment to nuclear security.

"What I take away from this budget is that there was a lack of leadership in trying to maintain the prioritization of the funding of this issue," said Partnership for Global Security President Kenneth Luongo. "The signal is we are in retreat on this issue, and I think that is a huge mistake."

 

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.

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Keeps me informed about national leadership concerns."

Senior Military Officer

The best!"

Mark, Compensation Analyst

Timely and informative."

Dave, HR specialist

I can browse over breakfast or while on the metro."

AJ, US Army Officer

Sign up form for the newsletter
Comments
comments powered by Disqus
 
MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL
 
 
 
 
Make your Election Night headquarters.
See more ▲
 
Hide