As Trump Administration Reviews U.S. Nuclear Policy, Blumenauer, Smith, Lee, Quigley Lead Call for a More Rational Approach

June 13, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Adam Smith (WA-09), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Mike Quigley (IL-05) today led a group of more than 40 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in urging Donald Trump to implement a more rational approach to U.S. nuclear policy as his administration develops its Nuclear Posture Review – a Congressionally-mandated review of U.S. nuclear policy that the Pentagon must complete every four years.

In a letter to Trump, the lawmakers urge him to: 1) reaffirm U.S. leadership for reducing the role and number of nuclear weapons globally; 2) support U.S.-led efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and materials; 3) pursue a more cost-effective approach to sustaining and upgrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal; and 4) include all relevant voices – including outside experts – in the Nuclear Posture Review process. 

“The United States should be leading the fight against the spread of nuclear weapons. Trump’s dismissal of international efforts, like New START, and his proposed budget plans to accelerate nuclear weapons spending, are taking us in the wrong direction,” said Blumenauer. “Trump and his administration owe it to the American people, and to future generations, to take a hard look and reevaluate nuclear weapons planning, for the sake of global stability and fiscal sanity.”

“The Nuclear Posture Review must be a meaningful, substantive assessment of what is necessary and affordable to maintain our nuclear forces, not simply a rubber-stamp for the $1.2 trillion modernization and sustainment plan that is unaffordable and unnecessary,” said Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee. “According to former STRATCOM Commander Adm. Cecil Haney, this nuclear modernization plan could cost nearly 10% of the defense budget. We need to know whether that is really the best use of defense funds. This posture review is a key opportunity to make decisions that will strengthen strategic stability and reduce the risks of a costly and dangerous nuclear arms race.”

“President Trump has sent alarming signals that he will abandon the international consensus on nuclear disarmament and instead pursue a dangerous global arms race,” said Lee. “This would be a grave mistake. As the Trump Administration writes a new Nuclear Posture Review, I urge them to remember their sacred responsibility to create a safer world for the next generation. The reduction of our nuclear arsenal has long been a bipartisan priority; it’s past time for President Trump to show he shares this commitment to the principles of global nuclear de-escalation and non-proliferation.”

“Escalating tensions with North Korea reinforce the need for a strong multilateral diplomatic approach to rolling back the rouge nation’s nuclear program and intensifying our global efforts to prevent a 21st century nuclear arms race,” said Quigley. “President Trump’s past statements on the issue have shown a clear lack of concern or understanding of the threat of nuclear proliferation. The Nuclear Posture Review can serve as an opportunity to clear up any confusion and reassure our allies around the world that it remains one of America’s top national security priorities to prevent terrorists and rouge states from acquiring nuclear materials and weapons. It can also illustrate our commitment to reducing our own deployed nuclear arsenal, which the Pentagon has determined can be cut by one-third without compromising our security requirements.”     

Click here to read the letter.