Sending Office: Honorable Gerald E. Connolly
VOTE YES on CONNOLLY #27
Restore Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation to FY2018 Funding Level
I write to ask for your support for my amendment (Connolly #27) to Division A of H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019.
This simple amendment would restore the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation account to its FY2018 enacted level of funding and still provide the NNSA’s Nuclear Weapons Activities program a $460-million-dollar
increase above its FY2018 appropriation.
This amendment offers a win-win solution. The underlying bill already includes $180 million more than the President requested for nuclear weapons activities in FY2019 and $557 million above the FY2018 appropriation. This means we can make Defense Nuclear
Nonproliferation whole again, while simultaneously increasing nuclear weapons spending.
I fear that we are underfunding nonproliferation in a manner inconsistent with our stated security priorities. In the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, the Administration stated that “nuclear terrorism remains among the most significant threats to the security
of the United States, allies, and partners.” The NNSA’s Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation program “works globally to prevent state and non-state actors from developing nuclear weapons or acquiring weapons-usable nuclear or radiological materials, equipment,
technology, and expertise.” This includes programs for nuclear material removal, international nuclear security, nuclear smuggling detection and deterrence, international nuclear safeguards, and the nuclear counterterrorism and incident response. However,
the Administration’s stated concern for nuclear terrorism is not matched by the funding level provided for nonproliferation in this bill.
Additionally, I am concerned that the current funding level does not help us lay the groundwork for the immense monitoring and verification challenge posed by a possible denuclearization agreement with North Korea. The Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review
declared that, “North Korea’s illicit nuclear program must be completely, verifiably, and irreversibly eliminated.” Additional financial support for existing and potentially new verification and threat reduction tools will be required to ensure that the United
States, our partners, and the International Atomic Energy Agency can achieve this goal. This work should begin now, but it cannot if we shortchange our nonproliferation programs.
An ounce of prevention in this arena is worth a pound of cure.
Please support nonproliferation and this win-win amendment by voting ‘YES’ on Connolly #27.
Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0