Senate appropriators last week approved a bill that would require the Pentagon to study how to modernize facilities storing U.S. nuclear warheads.
Language inserted by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) during a committee mark-up of the fiscal 2015 defense appropriations legislation would give the Air Force three months to develop a comprehensive plan for updating its five warhead storage sites, according to a press release from the lawmaker’s office.
The five Air Force sites presently authorized to house nuclear arms are Minot Air Force Base, N.D.; Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.; F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.; Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.; and Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., according to Hans Kristensen, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project.
Landrieu is particularly focused on seeing the Barksdale Air Force Base’s conventional-munitions storage area upgraded to handle nuclear arms, as it once did in the past. Presently, B-52 bombers based at Barksdale, headquarters of Air Force Global Strike Command, must fly to other bases to be loaded with atomic weapons.
Barksdale is second-in-line on the Air Force’s list of weapon storage areas slated to receive an upgrade, according to the press release. Landrieu’s amendment would require the Air Force to explain its rationale for prioritizing which storage sites get upgrades.
“I’m proud to lead the efforts of our delegation to ensure that the Global Strike Command and Barksdale Air Force Base receive the attention they deserve. Modernizing the nuclear weapons storage area at Barksdale will give our military the broad and deep reach it needs to protect our nation and provide stability for our allies across the world,” Landrieu said in released comments.
The defense appropriations bill now awaits consideration by the full Senate.
The Louisiana lawmaker’s office told the Shreveport Times it would cost approximately $300 million and take several years to restore Barksdale’s nuclear weapons-holding capability.
Landrieu also voiced support for seeing the head of Global Strike Command elevated to a four-star position, as is planned by the Air Force.
What We're Following See More »
In town to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, Bill Murray casually strolled into the White House Briefing Room this afternoon. A spokesman said he was at the executive mansion for a chat with President Obama, his fellow Chicagoan.
"A federal appeals court's decision that declared the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau an arm of the White House relies on a novel interpretation of the constitution's separation of powers clause that could have broader effects on how other regulators" like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."
After a lighthearted beginning, Donald Trump's appearance at the Al Smith charity dinner in New York "took a tough turn as the crowd repeatedly booed the GOP nominee for his sharp-edged jokes about his rival Hillary Clinton."
Evan McMullin came out on top in a Emerson College poll of Utah with 31% of the vote. Donald Trump came in second with 27%, while Hillary Clinton took third with 24%. Gary Johnson received 5% of the vote in the survey.