Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Another reason for a toast on Dec. 31

Before leaving town last week, Congress passed a big appropriations bill which President Bush is expected to sign this week.

The appropriations bill provides funding through Sept. 30, 2008. It contains much good news for nuclear arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, due in large part to Reps. Visclosky (D-IN) and Hobson (R-OH), as well as Sen. Dorgan (D-ND), who lead the Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittees.

The FY 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill made significant contributions to the goals of effective nuclear non-proliferation by increasing funding for almost all nuclear non-proliferation programs, while cutting funding for controversial programs that undermine and jeopardize those goals.

Here are the best parts:

-Funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead (that proposes to design and develop a new type of nuclear weapon) was zeroed out ($0 for RRW!).

-Funding for nuclear spent fuel reprocessing (which separates out weapons-usable material, or material that can be easily processed to make it nuclear weapon-usable, from nuclear waste) was cut by more than $200 million.

-Funding for many of the important threat reduction programs that secure nuclear weapon-usable material in the former Soviet Union states and other countries, and for nuclear non-proliferation organizations, were increased by $340 million dollars.

-Funding for other nuclear non-proliferation programs were increased by almost $270 million (including non-proliferation and international security program, non-proliferation and verification, research and development program, U.S. contribution to create an international fuel bank, and CTBTO and IAEA funding).

-The bill requires a Nuclear Weapons Strategy for the 21st Century to be done in consultation with federal agencies and independent, non-government organizations.

-The bill requires the President to submit to Congress in 2008 a Comprehensive Nuclear Threat Reduction and Security Plan to secure nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons-usable material by 2012.

For many more details, see the analysis and summary of the appropriations bill I prepared for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

Cheers and happy holidays!

1 comment:

  1. Leonor:

    This is great news. Thank you for your hard work on nonproliferation issues.

    Here is an issue you may want to weigh in on: http://atlanticreview.org/archives/945-Contemplating-Germany-with-Nukes.html