Boston (October 7, 2022) – Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, announced the filing of eight amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to reduce the risk of ‘nuclear Armageddon’ and stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. These amendments come amid increasing fears of potential nuclear conflict as Russian President Vladimir Putin escalates his threats to use a nuclear weapon in the war in Ukraine. Earlier this week, North Korean President Kim Jong launched the most provocative missile test by Pyongyang since 2017. And in the absence of a renewed Iran nuclear deal, from which President Trump withdrew the United States in 2018, Iran could be days away from having enough weapons-grade fissile material for a nuclear bomb.
“As Vladimir Putin menaces the world, Kim Jong Un continues his reckless missile launches, and Iran moves ever closer to a nuclear weapon, the Senate must demonstrate a commitment to non-proliferation and responsible stewardship of the U.S. nuclear arsenal,” said Senator Markey. “These amendments will stop hasty spending on nuclear weapons systems that arms control experts say we don’t need, bolster nonproliferation safeguards, and ensure no U.S. president can unilaterally start a nuclear war. Now is the time for the United States to take steps to lessen the threat of nuclear Armageddon. By adopting these amendments, the United States can demonstrate its leadership on arms control and nonproliferation and reduce the risk of nuclear catastrophe.”
Senator Markey’s proposed nuclear weapon NDAA FY 2023 amendments include:
- An amendment that restricts funding for the unnecessary nuclear-armed Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM-N) until a report on its utility is submitted to Congress.
- An amendment requiring the Department of Defense to report on the dangers of nuclear reactors and power plants in areas that have recently experienced armed conflict or are likely to in the future.
- An amendment, based on Senator Markey and Representative Ted Lieu’s (CA-33) Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, that would restrict the use of nuclear weapons by prohibiting the President of the United States from launching a nuclear first strike absent a declaration of war by Congress.
- An amendment, based on Senator Markey’s, Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D-Ore.), Representative Joaquin Castro’s (TX-20), and Representative Ted Lieu’s (CA-33) Stopping Activities Underpinning Development in Weapons of Mass Destruction (Saudi WMD) Act, that would impede access to sensitive technologies that could pave the way for Saudi Arabia to acquire a nuclear weapon.
- An amendment, based on Senator Markey’s and Representative Ro Khanna’s (CA-17) Investing in Cures Before Missiles (ICBM) Act, that would limit funds for the LGM-35A Sentinel (previously called the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent) pending a certification and conclusion of an independent study.
- An amendment, based on Senator Markey and Representative Earl Blumenauer’s (OR-03) Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act, that would cut spending on nuclear weapons programs at both the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to generate at least $73 billion in savings over the next decade.
- An amendment, based on Senator Markey and Chairman Jim McGovern’s (MA-02), Hastening Arms Limitation Talks (HALT) Act, that would establish a vision for a 21st century nuclear freeze movement. The amendment would help reduce and eliminate threats posed by nuclear weapons to the United States through a series of negotiating steps and establishing the prohibition on conducting a nuclear explosives test.
- An amendment, based on Senator Markey’s Restraint of Executive In Governing Nation (REIGN) Act, that would require presidents to turn over all presidential emergency action documents (PEADS) that may give the President extraordinary powers.