Today, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-CO), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Adam Smith (D-WA) -- the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee-- and 38 others sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging that he pursue the following core bipartisan principles in his upcoming Nuclear Posture Review (NPR):
Reaffirm U.S. leadership for reducing the role and number of nuclear weapons globally.
Continue to support U.S.-led efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and materials.
Pursue a more cost-effective approach to sustaining and upgrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
Keep with longstanding practice of including all relevant voices in the NPR process
Among other things, the letter urges that the NPR clarify that the United States does not seek a new nuclear arms race, contrary to the President's tweets and statements on the matter. It highlights the importance of arms control, including the 2010 agreement between the United States and Russia known as the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and urges that the treaty be extended. It also urges the Trump administration to fully fund international organizations that help prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Finally it asks the NPR to justify the all-of-the-above approach to replacing the current nuclear arsenal. Last week, the New York Times reported that the Congressional Budget Office has determined that upgrading and sustaining the nuclear arsenal over the next several decades will cost over $1 trillion -- an enormous expense for US taxpayers that takes away from investments that truly keep us secure.
The full text of the letter, with signatures can be found here: Nuclear Posture Review Letter | June 2017
The Nuclear Posture Review process was officially kicked off in April 2017. It will determine nuclear weapons policy for this administration. (The Obama administration completed its NPR in April 2010.) It is possible the NPR will be completed by the end of 2017.