Yet Another Committee Cuts Funds for the Reliable Replacement Warhead
Good news! Tuesday morning, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development dealt Bush’s request for the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) another defeat as it cut the $10 million in funding needed to keep the program alive.
However, ranking committee member Senator Pete Domenici continued his support for the unnecessary new nuclear weapon, saying that he may introduce an amendment on the floor to restore the $10 million for RRW.
That vote could happen soon. The full Senate Appropriations Committee will be considering the funding this Thursday.
Grassroots pressure has been instrumental in encouraging members of Congress to oppose the RRW. Let’s keep the pressure on in case Senator Domenici tries to restore the funding. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask the operator to put you through to your senator’s office. You can leave a message with your senator’s staff using the sample script below. (Click here if you need to find out who your senator is).
"Hi, my name is ____________ and I’m a constituent who lives at <your address>. I believe that the US should work toward global nuclear disarmament. Funding new nuclear weapons like the Reliable Replacement Warhead sends the wrong message to the international community. If an amendment is introduced on the floor or an attempt is made to fund the Reliable Replacement Warhead, I urge my senator to vote against funding for this new nuclear weapon."
UPDATE: Congratulations everyone! It looks like this committee’s decision was the last nail in the coffin for the Reliable Replacement Warhead. The letters, emails, phone calls, and lobby visits asking Congress to cut funding for the RRW have been effective. Three of the four key funding committees zeroed out the $10 million needed to keep RRW going. Normally, Congress would have a conference committee to reconcile the different budgets coming out of committees. However, Congress is planning to wrap up early this year and then hit the campaign trail in late September. They may not have time for the conference committee and use a different budget procedure instead. We’ll be keeping a watchful eye in any case to make sure the RRW funding stays zeroed out. But for now, let’s celebrate our defeat of Bush’s aggressive nuclear policy and his quest for new nuclear weapons.
An ironic aspect of this is that budgets deficits expanded by the Iraq war are creating downward funding pressure throughout the budget. That pressure is probably playing a role in the efforts to cut funding before the program balloons.