Markey Introduces SANE Act to Cut Bloated Nuclear Weapons Budget
Congressman joined by 34 co-sponsors on legislation to cut $100 billion over next decade from outdated nuclear weapons programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Edward J. Markey took to the House floor to decry the wasteful spending in America’s nuclear weapons programs and to introduce legislation that would cut $100 billion over the next ten years from America’s bloated nuclear weapons budget. The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act of 2012 cuts specific nuclear weapons and related programs and makes our nuclear weapons forces the right size for the 21st century.
“It is insane that Republicans are proposing to block the automatic defense cuts mandated by the debt deal while America’s nuclear weapons budget teems with billions in wasteful spending,” said Rep. Markey, senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and founder of the Nonproliferation Task Force. “It is insane to spend hundreds of billions on new nuclear bombs and delivery systems to fight a long-past Cold War while ignoring our 21st century security needs and seeking to cut Medicare, Medicaid and social programs that millions of Americans depend on. The SANE Act will cut spending on outdated, wasteful nuclear weapons and related programs over the next ten years and will strengthen our long-term economic and national security.”
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE. Video of Rep. Markey’s floor statement can be found HERE.
Specifically, The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act of 2012 will:
Cut the current fleet of nuclear submarines from 12 operational at sea to eight operational at sea ($3 billion savings)
Delay the purchase of new nuclear submarines ($17 billion savings)
Reduce the number of ICBMs ($6 billion savings)
End the nuclear missions of air bombers (up to $17 billion savings)
Delay new bomber program ($18 billion savings)
Cancel new, wasteful nuclear weapons facilities ($15 billion savings)
“It’s well past time to realign our nation’s nuclear arsenal to deal with today’s threats,” said Joseph Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund. “The current Cold War nuclear weapons complex is draining resources and attention from the military programs our nation needs to meet current and future challenges. It is encouraging to see the leadership of so many members of Congress helping to move our nation toward a smarter national security strategy. Congressman Markey and the other co-sponsors of the SANE Act are doing a great service, promoting a much needed debate on how to modernize our nuclear force in a way that both saves money and makes our nation safer.”
“We are well past the time when the United States needs to stop pouring billions of additional dollars into maintaining the existing nuclear weapons arsenal that is immoral, that the U.S. doesn't need and that is not making our country safer,” said David Culp, Legislative Representative, Friends Committee on National Legislation.
“POGO is enthusiastic that so many of our recommendations were included in the bill. We also hope there will be bipartisan support for aspects of the proposal, since the cuts aren't partisan and are a good start to spending smarter and ending the old Cold War strategy,” said Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project On Government Oversight (POGO). “We thank Representative Markey and the other cosponsors for their leadership on this critical issue.”
Cosponsors: Lee (CA), Clarke (MI), Jackson (IL), Stark (CA), Woolsey (CA), Holt (NJ), Filner (CA), Slaughter (NY), Nadler (NY), Brady (PA), Kucinich (OH), Lewis (GA), Conyers (MI), Grijalva (AZ), Holmes Norton (DC), Braley (IA), Polis (CO), Honda (CA), Blumenauer (OR), Frank (MA), Ellison (MN), Maloney (NY), Kaptur (OH), DeFazio (OR), Bishop (NY), McGovern (MA), Richardson (CA), Olver (MA), McDermott (WA), Payne (NJ), Eshoo (CA), Christensen (VI), Tierney (MA), Farr (CA).
The SANE Act is endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and: Alliance of Baptists on the Interfaith Committee on Nuclear Disarmament, Church of the Brethren, Citizens for Global Solutions, Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice, DC Statehood Green Party, Franciscan Action Network, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Georgia WAND, Global Green USA (US affiliate of Green Cross International), Global Security Institute and Bipartisan Security Group, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Los Alamos Study Group, National Council of Churches of Christ, USA, Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility of United Church of Christ, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, Peace Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Ploughshares Fund, Project on Government Oversight (POGO), Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Tri-Valley CAREs, Women's Action for New Directions.