Washington D.C. – Today, as the House Armed Services Committee marks-up the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Republican members of the committee voted against an amendment, offered by Congressman Rob Andrews, which was designed to restore independent oversight, safety and security for the public and workers at nuclear labs.

“Eliminating independent oversight of defense nuclear facilities will result in lower standards for public and worker safety,” said Congressman Rob Andrews. “Partisan politics should never get in the way of our nation’s safety and security, and the safety board’s proven record of 23 years speaks for itself. Its mission should not be compromised for reckless political aims.”

Contained in the Strategic Forces portion of majority’s Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act are two provisions, specifically sections 3115 and 3133, which remove the authority of the Department of Energy’s Office of Health, Safety and Security over the National Nuclear Security Administration. The office plays a vital oversight role in providing nuclear safety and security for the public and workers. The sections would remove independence from the oversight process and may lead to weak or inconsistent standards for safety for workers and the public. Congressman Andrew’s amendment sought to strike sections 3115 and 3133.