Washington DC â€“ June 7, 2013 â€“ News Release â€“ During House Armed Services consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on June 5-6, Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado offered two amendments that would significantly weaken U.S. national security, according to the Council for a Livable World.
â€œWith his performance this week, Congressman Lamborn once again displayed his fealty to a Cold War-era mindset,â€� said John Isaacs, executive director of Council for a Livable World. â€œHis reckless amendments seek to protect funding for an ill-conceived, mismanaged, and unaffordable nuclear weapons program at the direct expense of effective nuclear terrorism prevention and nuclear surveillance programs that address the real threats of the 21st century.â€�
Lambornâ€™s first amendment would limit American programs that reduce the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction around the world and detect nuclear weapons tests. The amendment was entitled: â€œLimitation of Availability of Funds for Threat Reduction Engagement Activities and United States Contributions to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization.â€�
â€œU.S. support for these programs is vital to our security,â€� said Kingston Reif, director of non-proliferation programs at Council for a Livable World. â€œWithout them, hazardous unconventional weapons and materials will remain vulnerable for many years to come and we will lack an essential means to monitor North Koreaâ€™s dangerous nuclear weapons program.â€�
Rep. Lamborn also offered an amendment that would hold hostage funding for a proven and relatively inexpensive program to keep America safe from the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism to a woefully mismanaged program to extend the life of the B61 nuclear bomb. Four hundred of these weapons are scheduled to be refurbished at an estimated cost to taxpayers of $10 billion, or $25 million per weapon.
The Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) is a government program that removes dangerous nuclear materials from around the globe to prevent terrorists from gaining access to them. Lambornâ€™s amendment would slash the budget for GTRI unless the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) certifies to Congress that the B61 life extension program, which is already way behind schedule due to mismanagement, wonâ€™t be further delayed.
â€œGTRI is a vital part of our nationâ€™s strategy to prevent terrorists from obtaining the nuclear materials required to make a nuclear weapon or â€˜dirty bomb,â€™â€� said James Lewis, spokesman for Council for a Livable World. â€œRep. Lamborn is attempting to link funding to prevent terrorism with a nuclear weapons program that is mismanaged, over-budget, behind schedule, and unnecessary. Moreover, while about 200 B61s are still deployed in Europe, it is the United States that is bearing the full $10 billion refurbishment cost.â€�
Council for a Livable World is a non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to increasing national security, particularly through reducing of the danger of nuclear weapons proliferation. The Council advocates for a strong and sensible national security policy and helps elect congressional candidates supporting those ideals.