Visclosky Statement in Response to President Trump’s Comments on the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal
Washington, DC – Congressman Visclosky released the following statement in response to President Trump’s comments yesterday that his “first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal” and that “it is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before.”
As the Ranking Member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and a member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, both Subcommittees that are responsible for providing funds for the maintenance and modernization of our nuclear arsenal, I would note that actions to design, build, maintain, and modify our nuclear weapons system take not months, but decades to implement.
Additionally, if President Trump is referring to his order requesting a Nuclear Posture Review in January of 2017, it is important to note that the Department of Defense announced the start of this review in April of 2017, with the expectation that the final report will be given to the President by the end of the year.
Further, while President Trump’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2018 does include additional funds for nuclear weapons activities, the appropriations legislation to fund such activities has not yet been signed into law.
Additionally, our ability to keep our nation safe from nuclear threats does not depend solely on the modernization and renovation of our nuclear arsenal. Funding for nuclear infrastructure and nonproliferation programs, which President Trump cut in his Fiscal Year 2018 budget request, has an essential role in preventing the spread of fissile and radiological materials and stopping nuclear weapons from being obtained by those who may wish to cause us harm.
The President’s loose and imprecise language is in stark contrast to the consummate professionalism of the men and women of our nuclear forces, who stand watch in defense of our country with the utmost gravity every minute of every day. I will continue to work in a bipartisan fashion with my colleagues in Congress and on the House Appropriations Committee to make thoughtful and discrete funding decisions on how to best modernize and improve our nuclear weapons complex, while also working for a robust, multilateral nonproliferation effort, to keep every resident of our country safe and secure.