Markey Files Bill to Cut $100 Billion in Nuclear Arms Funds

Edward Markey (D), as a then-House representative from Massachusetts, speaks during a congressional hearing in Washington in 2012. Now a senator, Markey on Friday introduced a bill that would cut $100 billion in spending over the next decade from the U.S. nuclear-weapons arsenal and complex.
National Journal
Rachel Oswald
Add to Briefcase
Rachel Oswald
Feb. 28, 2014, 10:15 a.m.

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.

The le­gis­la­tion would ax all mis­sile-de­fense activ­it­ies, and can­cel plans to build new fa­cil­it­ies for fis­sile-ma­ter­i­al pro­cessing in or­der to cut an ad­di­tion­al $37 bil­lion.

“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 »
ARE “OPEN TO NEGOTIATION”
Sens. Paul, Cruz, Johnson and Lee Oppose Senate Health Care Bill
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

The four Senators released a joint statement, saying in part, "There are provisions in this draft that repreesnt an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs."

Source:
UNKNOWN IF TRUMP WANTS 2024 GAMES IN L.A.
Trump Meets With International Olympic Committee Today
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Trump will meet with the International Olympic Committee Thursday amid a battle between Los Angeles and Paris for the right to host the 2024 games. The meeting at the White House will come roughly three months before members of the IOC vote on which of the two cities will welcome the Olympics during what could be the final year of Trump's presidency, should he win re-election. Trump has remained largely silent on whether he plans to fight for the U.S. to receive the games in 2024."

Source:
TRUMP SUGGESTED THERE WERE TAPES
No Comey Tapes
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon, "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are "tapes" or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings."

Source:
DEVELOPING
Senate Healthcare Bill In Trouble?
6 hours ago
BREAKING
ALTERED, STOLE VOTER INFO
Russian Hacking More Extensive Than Previously Reported
6 hours ago
BREAKING

"The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least one successful attempt to alter voter information, and the theft of thousands of voter records that contain private information like partial Social Security numbers. ... Congressional investigators are probing whether any of this stolen private information made its way to the Trump campaign. ... The House Intelligence Committee plans to seek testimony this summer from Brad Parscale, the digital director of the Trump campaign."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login