Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement following reports that the Biden administration is debating cutting critical nuclear weapons programs approved under the last administration and again in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act:
“Reports that the Biden administration is considering abandoning long-overdue and much-needed improvements to our nation’s nuclear deterrent – when China is massively expanding its nuclear arsenal, North Korea is flagrantly violating UN sanctions on its missile program, and Russia is poised to launch the largest invasion in Europe since World War II – are profoundly concerning, and if true, would only invite further aggression.
“Over the past year, our committees heard from the nation’s leading defense and nuclear experts, including from within the current administration. Their stark warnings on the threats we face were sobering — and their clear advice, from Secretary Austin on down, was to continue along the path of modernization. Congress heeded these warnings, and an overwhelming bipartisan majority supported continuing all aspects of the Department of Defense’s and the National Nuclear Security Administration’s plan to modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which the President signed into law just two weeks ago. When reports surfaced that the Biden administration was considering departing from long-standing nuclear policies that have deterred major wars and the use of nuclear weapons for over seventy years, U.S. allies across the globe joined a bipartisan chorus in Congress to urge the administration to take a wiser, more measured path.
“It’s almost incomprehensible that even now, in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary, bipartisan congressional, allied and expert opposition, and a security environment that seems to get worse by the day, the Biden administration continues to look for opportunities to weaken the ultimate guarantee of our nation’s and our allies’ security. Again, we strongly urge the administration to listen to the combined voices of Congress, U.S. allies, and our nation’s foremost defense experts and continue the current nuclear modernization programs and policies.”