Feb. 11, 2009 - Markey: Fund Schools - Not Nuclear Bombs - In Economic Recovery Package

In letter to Obey, Markey calls for removal of $1 billion for nuclear weapons added to the Senate version of the package

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), sent House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) a letter on Wednesday, calling for the removal of $1 billion for nuclear weapons activities from the economic recovery package added to the Senate version of the bill.  

“[I am] shocked that while the Senate felt it was necessary to cut billions of dollars for school construction they found an extra billion for nuclear weapons,” Markey wrote in the letter. “This is the kind of unnecessary…appropriation which ought to be stripped from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, especially when so many worthy priorities from the House bill were removed from the Senate bill.”

Rep. Markey is the founder and co-chairman of the Bi-Partisan Task Force on Non-Proliferation and has been a leading voice on reducing the spread of nuclear weapons for decades.

Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and James McGovern (D-Mass.) also signed the letter.

“In these difficult economic times, I fail to see how adding a billion dollars for expanding and retrofitting the nuclear weapons complex will stimulate the economy, especially when so many other crucial priorities have already been removed from the economic recovery package,” said Markey.

A full text of the letter is here and below:

February 11, 2009

Representative David Obey
Chairman
House Committee on Appropriations
H-218 U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Obey:

We write to you to urge that the Conference Committee for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 remove the $1 billion for Nuclear Weapons Activities added to the Senate version of the bill.  

As you know, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is a critical bill for the economic health of the United States.  You and your staff have done a spectacular job crafting a delicate balance between different forms of economic stimulus which will create millions of American jobs and set our nation on a new path for the 21st century.

However, as a result of an undisclosed back-room deal in the Senate, their version of the bill now includes $1 billion for Nuclear Weapons Activities.  We are shocked that while the Senate felt it was necessary to cut billions of dollars for school construction they found an extra billion for nuclear weapons.  This is the kind of unnecessary and non-stimulative appropriation which ought to be stripped from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, especially when so many worthy priorities from the House bill were removed from the Senate bill.

The Obama Administration is conducting a formal Nuclear Posture Review, which will inform judgments about the future of our nuclear arsenal and its associated facilities and personnel.  Throwing an extra billion dollars at the Nuclear Weapons Activities budget now would unwisely prejudice the conclusions of President Obama’s Nuclear Posture Review.  

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is about creating jobs and pulling our economy back from the brink of a depression.  A billion dollars for expanding and retrofitting the nuclear weapons complex, while school construction and green job creation go wanting, would be an inexcusable misallocation of resources.  We urge you to insist upon the House version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and to remove the unwise and non-stimulative $1 billion for Nuclear Weapons Activities added by the Senate.

Sincerely,

Edward J. Markey                    Barney Frank                           James P. McGovern



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2009

  CONTACT: Daniel Reilly 202-225-2836