Senate Appropriators Defy Administration On Nukes

Kingston Reif and I have a new analysis on the Center website of the FY 2015 Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Here is an excerpt: A new Senate bill released in late July contains a number of small but critically important victories, most notably in the realm of funding nuclear material security and nonproliferation. As a budget battle between the President and Congress rages on, there is a conspicuous difference in the level of funding requested by the White House versus that approved by Senate Appropriators for programs that make us safer from the threat of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism. It is hard to understand why the Obama administration, whose stated priorities make nuclear nonproliferation a top priority, has for the past three years cut the budget for these very activities. Luckily, the Senate continues to restore the funding, as evidenced by its recent action. However, in past years the higher Senate funding levels have not survived in the final spending bills passed by Congress. The contradiction between the President’s words about preventing nuclear terrorism and the dwindling resources he has requested in his budget submissions is concerning because it represents an unsustainable punt to Congress at a time when lawmakers are mandating significant reductions in government spending. Despite the Senate’s best efforts, Congress has not restored funding to sufficient levels in its final spending bills. What’s more, even the Senate’s current prioritization of nonproliferation programs could evaporate if the Senate changes hands next year. Read the full analysis here