Oppose $1 billion for NNSA in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
From: Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, Peace Action, & Other Groups
Re: Oppose $1 billion for NNSA in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
February 11, 2009
We support the House decision not to include $1 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARR). While some of the money allocated for NNSA in the Senate version of ARR goes to items we support, such as increased security, no justification exists to give an additional $1 billion to accomplish these goals. This money will not help accomplish ARR’s primary stated goals of creating jobs, restoring economic growth, and strengthening America’s middle class. Additionally, it is premature to make major investments in NNSA’s nuclear weapons research and production infrastructure until President Obama has determined the direction of U.S. nuclear policy.
The defense authorization act for fiscal year 2009 requires that the incoming Administration complete a nuclear posture and policy review. Until the Obama Administration addresses such issues as posture, force structure, size and scope of the nuclear complex, adding $1 billion to NNSA’s $9 billion budget, an 11 percent increase, is premature.
Under the Bush Administration, there was Congressional opposition to NNSA’s proposed plan to invest substantially in the nuclear weapons complex. Items such as $353 million for general plan projects, $100 million for advanced computing, $90 million for transformation disposition, and energy efficiency should be funded through the appropriations process allowing Congress to debate nuclear policy.
According to recent GAO reports, NNSA has continually experienced cost overruns and oversight problems since its inception in 1999. The reports found weakness in security culture, organization, staffing, and training. NNSA’s poor record does not justify an additional $1 billion.
An October 2007 study conducted by the Political Economy Research Institute concluded “spending on personal consumption, health care, education, mass transit, and construction for home weatherization and infrastructure repair all create more jobs per $1 billon in expenditures relative to military spending.” Money directed toward NNSA will not have significantly positive impact on the economy when compared to other types of investments.
With Conferees seeking to cut the total spending in the bill, we strongly urge you to eliminate the $1 billion for NNSA. Such funding decisions should go through the regular appropriations process.
Thank you for your consideration.