GOP Lawmakers Serious About Nuclear Modernization

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) want to make sure President Obama keeps his commitment that the United States will spend some $80 billion through 2020 updating the nation’s nuclear warheads and modernizing the nuclear weapons complex. Turner has introduced legislation (H.R. 1750) aimed at doing just that and Kyl intends to introduce similar legislation in the Senate sometime this week, reported Global Security Newswire. “We’re going to ensure that the administration complies with the commitments that it made,” said Kyl, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, during a media roundtable Monday. “Better to have it in writing, understood by both parties exactly what’s required, so that we don’t have confusion in the future.” The Obama Administration made this pledge—including more than $100 billion to modernize the nation’s nuclear delivery systems—to help win bipartisan support in the Senate for ratifying the New START agreement with Russia. Among its provisions, Turner’s bill would prohibit the United States from unilaterally reducing its nuclear arsenal beyond the levels agreed to in New START, unless the Senate agrees. (H.R. 1750 full text; caution, large file.)