House NDAA measure blocks the Trump administration from conducting the first nuclear weapons test in more than a generation


Washington (July 21, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a long-time Congressional leader on nuclear arms control and nonproliferation issues, applauded the successful adoption of a NDAA amendment identical to the Preserving Leadership Against Nuclear Explosives Testing (PLANET) Act, which he first introduced in the Senate in June. The PLANET Act, which has 17 Senate co-sponsors, prevents the Trump administration from restarting explosive nuclear weapons testing by restricting funds for fiscal year 2021 and all previous years from being used for such a purpose. Reps. McAdams (UT-04) and Dina Titus (NV-01) led successful adoption of this amendment to the House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 


“I welcome the House of Representatives’ adoption of the PLANET Act, which stops any threat the Trump administration may make with a return to explosive nuclear weapons testing,” said Senator Markey. “Days after the 75th anniversary of the first ever nuclear test explosion, we must rededicate ourselves to preventing any future tests by bringing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty into force. I will fight against President Trump’s efforts to thrust the planet into a 21st century arms race, just as I led the successful effort to stop President Reagan from underground nuclear weapons testing in 1986.”


Specifically, the House NDAA amendment/PLANET Act:

  • Prohibits the use of funds appropriated in fiscal year 2021 or from any previous year to prepare for or to conduct an explosive nuclear test that produces any yield
  • Allows for stockpile stewardship activities that are consistent with U.S. law – such as certifying the safety, security and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile – so long as those activities are consistent with the “zero-yield” scope of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).