WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Jim Cooper (D-TN), House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Energy and Water Subcommittee Chairwoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Defense Subcommittee Chairman Pete Visclosky (D-IN) sent a letter today to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette seeking answers on the Trump Administration’s recent proposal to resume nuclear testing.
In their letter, the Members wrote, “It is unfathomable that the administration is considering something so short-sighted and dangerous, and that directly contradicts its own 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). The NPR, which this administration often cites as inviolable, makes clear that ‘the United States will not resume nuclear explosive testing unless necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.’ There is no information to suggest nuclear explosive testing is necessary based on these factors. In fact, the entities responsible for the safety and effectiveness of the nuclear deterrent—the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and its nuclear weapons laboratories—have, without fail for 24 years, certified to the President that our nuclear weapons stockpile remains safe, secure, and reliable without the need for testing.”
In addition, the Members warned about the security implications and far-reaching human and environmental impacts of a return to testing, and requested information and documents related to the nuclear discussions and a subsequent briefing on the administration’s answers.
“We request that you produce the following information and documents by June 22. We also request a briefing on these answers by June 25,” the Members wrote.
Full text of the letter can be found here.