Hillary Clinton once famously said, “a man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” On Monday, House Democrats blocked funding for nuclear weapon testing and the world breathed a sigh of relief.
— Defense News (@defense_news) July 13, 2020
Nuclear testing has not been attempted in this country since 1992, during George H.W. Bush’s administration. Calls for testing now come again from Republicans, but House Democrats checked their power. At this point in our country’s history, considering issues around climate change and tensions related to our foreign policy, nuclear testing is not ideal.
According to Defense News:
‘No funding would be available for live nuclear weapons testing under an amendment the House adopted to its version of the annual defense policy bill. The amendment from Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, was adopted, 227-179, in a mostly party-line vote. The House is expected Tuesday to vote to pass the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
‘The amendment marks the second rebuke of the Trump administration amid reports it’s mulling a resumption of nuclear weapons testing. The House Appropriations Committee passed a similar ban earlier this month.’
— Save The Democracy (BLM)🌊🌈🌊🍥 (@DemocracyInn) July 20, 2020
Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) authored the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which previously was approved in a unanimous vote across party lines. With the amendment, it is likely to hold up final approval for the NDAA.
McAdams said that:
‘Explosive nuclear testing is not necessary to ensure our stockpile remains safe and nothing in this amendment would change that. Explosive nuclear testing causes irreparable harm to human health and to our environment. and jeopardizes the U.S. leadership role on nuclear nonproliferation.’
The House voted back-to-back to put limits on invoking the Insurrection Act and bar funding for conducting a nuclear test.
Coindicentally, both of those last occurred in 1992.
— Connor O'Brien (@connorobrienNH) July 20, 2020
Republicans argue that failing to test nuclear weapons reduces the perception of a threat from our nuclear arsenal, a claim that sounds as if it came straight from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, argued that:
‘We need to be ready. The harder we make it to test, the more obstacles we put in the way of a test―only if needed, but the harder we make it for a test, the less credible our nuclear deterrent is.’
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) July 20, 2020
Featured image screenshot via YouTube