WASHINGTON, D.C. – With America hurtling toward the fiscal cliff of automatic budget cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act, Republicans today passed the Department of Defense budget that increases overall non-war defense spending by $1.1 billion over the fiscal year 2012 level and $3.1 billion above the President’s request. Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who introduced several amendments to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the bloated nuclear weapons budget, released the following statement.

“Despite sequestration, despite budget pressures, despite the fragility of the economy, Republicans have once again voted to increase defense spending.

“Republicans in the House have stuffed the defense bill with billions of dollars worth of unneeded nuclear weapons programs designed to defeat the Soviet Union.  Apparently, Republicans want to retroactively re-fight the Cold War.

“The doomsday that Americans fear in the 21st century isn’t being vaporized by a nuclear bomb, it’s the doomsday diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or cancer; it's the doomsday fear of job loss or inability to put food on the table or cool your home during this record-breaking heat.

“It is time to stop funding unneeded nuclear weapons programs that perpetuate the Cold War that we won more than 20 years ago. I will continue to fight against this wasteful nuclear weapons spending that no longer reflects America’s 21st century security needs.” 

Rep. Markey introduced legislation that would cut $100 billion over the next ten years from America’s nuclear weapons budget. Co-sponsored by 48 House members, the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act of 2012 cuts specific nuclear weapons and related programs such as reducing the current fleet of nuclear submarines from 12 operational at sea to eight operational at sea ($3 billion savings) and ending the nuclear missions of air bombers (up to $17 billion savings). Last fall, Rep. Markey led a letter to along with 64 House members calling for cuts of hundreds of billions from America’s nuclear weapons programs.