Washington D.C. - Today, Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, pushed back on Rep. Ed Markey’s (MA-7) call for cuts to our nuclear deterrent.
“Congressman Markey should be more careful before irrationally proposing policies that would gamble with our national security. At a time when Russia and China are engaging in significant nuclear modernization programs and North Korea and Iran continue their illegal nuclear weapons programs, what Mr. Markey proposes amounts to unilateral disarmament of the U.S.,” stated Turner.
Our military leadership has been clear that the only way to gain further reductions to our nuclear stockpile, including those in the New START Treaty, is to modernize our nuclear deterrent. President Obama agreed with that line of thinking during the New START Treaty debate, and has pledged additional funds to modernize our nuclear stockpile.
“$21.2 billion out of almost $660 billion per year in defense spending is a modest investment in a nuclear deterrent, which has kept the peace since the end of World War II. The House was clear when we passed the National Defense Authorization Act with bipartisan support this summer - if the President’s modernization plan isn’t funded, New START reductions must not occur,” added Turner.
Markey in his media advisory also claims that the U.S. is spending $700 billion on nuclear weapons activities over a decade. This claim is simply not factual. The President submitted to Congress and pledged to fund nuclear modernization programs at $212 billion over ten years, or approximately $21.2 billion a year.