Council: Front and Center – June 6

An update on arms control, national security, and politics from Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. 

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What’s News:

Last Chance for the Father Robert F. Drinan Awards!
On this Tuesday, June 9th, in Washington, D.C, we’ll be honoring Senator Chris Murphy, Representative Keith Ellison, and journalist Laura Rozen at the 2015 Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Awards. Read their profiles (linked above) and consider purchasing a ticket or making a contribution in honor of these three heroes.

Senate Action on Defense Bill
This week, the Senate began to consider the massive National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 which authorizes spending on defense programs and determines critical issues of foreign policy and national security. Votes will continue next week with more than 250 amendments submitted thus far! Our policy team met with several Senate offices this week, encouraging them to consider offering amendments to cut the nuclear weapons budget and reduce the Overseas Contingency Operations account.

Be sure to keep up with our live updates of major amendments pending and submitted for consideration in the NDAA on our blog.

A Win for Preventing Nuclear Terrorism:
This week, the Senate passed the USA Freedom Act, which contained a critical amendment that will enhance global efforts to counter nuclear terrorism. “This measure will make us safer by helping to secure material that could be used to make a nuclear bomb and by punishing nuclear terrorists,” said Angela Canterbury in a statement issued by the Fissile Materials Working Group. Read the full statement to learn more about this welcome win!

Watch:

Our Two Minute Takes: The Iran Talks
Want to learn more about the Iran nuclear negotiations? Do you have two minutes? Then check out the first episode in our new Council-produced series “Two Minute Takes,” where our policy analysts break down complex foreign policy and national security issues into two digestible minutes. And stay tuned for more!

Read:

‘All of the Above’ On Nuclear Weapons
If you’ve ever taken the SAT test, you know that selecting “All of the Above” can be a dangerous cop-out for not knowing the answer. The same wisdom applies for Congress, as the “world’s most deliberative body” has failed to make any of the hard but necessary choices on the future of America’s nuclear weapons. Read the article published in The Hill’s Congress Blog by Senior Fellow John Isaacs and our newest Research and Policy Associate Greg Terryn.

NPT RevCon: Not So Productive
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference wrapped up last week, and regrettably, the conferees failed to produce a final consensus document. In his latest piece for the Nukes of Hazard Blog, Policy Fellow Adam Proveaux analyzes the sticking points that resulted in a less-than-productive 2015 conference, while looking ahead to 2020. 

Manhattan Project Turns 70
This week marks the 70th anniversary of the Manhattan Project, which brought the first nuclear weapons into the world. Read the latest Nukes of Hazard story on how Council for a Livable World’s founder and physicist Leo Szilard helped to usher in America’s nukes, then dedicated his life working to eradicate them.

Slush Fund Gets Slushier in the House
Also this week, the House Appropriations Committee approved nearly $90 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operations account, in addition to $490 billion for base defense spending. If it were a government agency, OCO would be the second largest! Read up on our analysis of the Committee’s recommendations and amendments submitted on OCO, the F-35, Authorization for Military Force, and more.

Small Victory for Common Sense
On the other side of Capitol Hill, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its Energy and Water bill last week, which featured a slight decrease in nuclear weapons spending from the President’s request. Read the entire analysis on our blog.

How Did Your Representative Do?
Council for a Livable World has just released its Legislative Scorecard for the current U.S. House of Representatives, and will be live tracking legislative action from now on. Visit our website to find out how your Rep. is doing so far on issues related to nuclear weapons, national security, and foreign policy! While you’re there, check out how members of 113th Congress performed.

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We hope you liked our Two-Minute Take on the Iran nuclear negotiations. Please help us share this video on Facebook, Twitter or by e-mail: 

 

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