Portman Joins Ayotte, Freshman Senate Republicans in Calling On President to Fulfill Nuclear Moderni President Obama committed to modernization during ratification of New START, but underfunds program in 2013 budget
BigNews.Biz - Apr 29,2012 - Portman Joins Ayotte, Freshman Senate Republicans in Calling On President to Fulfill Nuclear Modernization Commitment
President Obama committed to modernization during ratification of New START, but underfunds program in 2013 budget
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Rob Portman joined a group of freshman Republican Senators in calling on President Obama to fulfill his commitment to modernize the U.S. nuclear complex and strategic delivery systems. In a letter, led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), sent today to the president, the senators note that the administration’s failure to commit to nuclear modernization, combined with the reductions mandated by New START, poses additional risk to U.S. and global security. In addition to Portman and Ayotte, the letter was signed by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Dan Coats (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).
“Those of us who came to the Senate after the New START was ratified, and who were already skeptical of the treaty's merits, will watch closely to see how these commitments are carried out,” the senators wrote. “A failure to honor past nuclear modernization commitments will impact our willingness to support New START implementation and any future treaties related to our nuclear weapons complex.”
They continued: “While our nation’s fiscal crisis demands that we make difficult budget decisions, failing to address our nation’s nuclear modernization requirements will add a needless national security crisis to our nation’s fiscal crisis. Reductions to nuclear force levels mandated by New START cannot be made without unacceptable risk unless the arsenal and the weapons complex are modernized.”
In order to persuade the Senate to ratify the New START Treaty, the administration committed to modernizing the United States nuclear complex and strategic delivery systems. The fiscal year (FY) 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) required that the administration submit a 10-year modernization plan, and in November 2010, the administration pledged to provide sufficient funding for nuclear modernization. However, President Obama’s FY 2013 budget proposal fails to honor that commitment and does not adequately address the nation’s nuclear modernization needs.
FRESHMAN REPUBLICAN SENATORS LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA:
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to request that the administration honor its past commitment to modernize the United States nuclear weapons complex. Your budget proposal currently underfunds nuclear modernization, endangering our nation’s nuclear deterrent and the security of all Americans.
A reliable and modern nuclear deterrent is central to American national security. A credible nuclear arsenal deters potential enemies from launching a nuclear attack against our country or our allies. A strong and dependable U.S. nuclear deterrent also helps prevent nuclear proliferation by assuring friendly nations that a nuclear program is unnecessary. When the U.S. fails to maintain a reliable and modern nuclear deterrent we undermine these objectives which are central to the security of our country.
The Senate’s ratification of the New START Treaty was contingent on the administration’s commitment to modernize the United States nuclear complex and strategic