House Votes to Limit Missile Defense and New Nuclear Weapons

Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today retained funding cuts to provocative missile defense program and new nuclear weapons in the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Authorization bill.

The House rejected two missile defense amendments, one to restore the cuts of $764 million made in the House Armed Services Committee and the other to cut an even larger amount of funding.

LT. GENERAL ROBERT GARD JR. (USA, ret.), Senior Military Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, stated: “The House prudently voted against restoring the $764 million cut from the missile defense programs’ least promising technologies and most provocative programs.�

LT. GEN. GARD continued: “Deploying interceptors in Poland for the unproved ground based midcourse program might alienate our NATO allies. Spending billions on GMD – when the system can be easily and cheaply overcome by countermeasures – siphons much-needed resources from higher priority measures. Our attention and resources would be better spent on the very real threats of nuclear terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.â€�

JOHN ISAACS, Executive Director of Council for a Livable World, added: "No Member of the House challenged the Committee's $45 million cut from the Administration's $119 million request to develop new nuclear weapons. This sends a strong message to the Administration that it cannot pursue its dangerous plans for new nuclear bombs willy-nilly.�

ISAACS concluded: “The bill's mandate of a congressionally-appointed independent commission to examine nuclear weapon policy and posture and the potential for further reductions in the number of nuclear weapons is a welcome step and inserts common sense in the Department of Energy's ill-advised proposal for new weapons."