A high-profile U.S. Senate critic of nuclear-weapons spending on Friday introduced a bill that would cut $100 billion over the next decade in arsenal outlays.
The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures — or “SANE” — Act, filed by Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.), is co-sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).
“America faces a real choice: spend billions on nuclear weapons we no longer need or fund programs that educate our children and help find cures to deadly diseases,” Markey said in provided comments.
Markey previously introduced the SANE Act as a House representative in 2012 and 2013. Though the bills collected a number of co-sponsors, they ultimately got nowhere in the Republican-dominated chamber. It is unclear if Markey’s legislation will receive more serious attention in the Democrat-led Senate.
The new SANE Act legislation, like previous incarnations, would reduce from 12 to eight the number of SSBN(X) ballistic-missile submarines that are to replace the retiring Ohio-class fleet. The bill also would limit to eight the number of Ohio-class submarines that can currently be fielded. These steps are forecast to produce $16 billion in savings, according to a release from Markey’s office.
The legislation would do away with any potential nuclear mission for the F-35 and postpone through 2023 development of a new long-range strike bomber resulting in an anticipated $32 billion.
Programs to modernize various nuclear warheads would be done away with under the bill, and work would be delayed on a new class of intercontinental ballistic missiles, resulting in an estimated $15 billion in taxpayer dollars.
“As we’ve seen in recent stories, the human beings who control [nuclear weapons] can be unreliable,” Blumenauer said in a statement included in the Markey release. He apparently was referring to recent scandals surrounding the Air Force’s nuclear-missile mission, which have highlighted a number of problems with professionalism and morale inside the officer corps assigned to control the ICBMs.
What We're Following See More »
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.