Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering the budget for next year, and, while it imposes a spending freeze for most domestic programs, somehow there’s money to spare when it comes to nuclear weapons pork. The budget request for nuclear bomb activities next year is $7 billion, which is a 14% increase over last year’s budget for the same programs, and a whopping 40% over the $5 billion (in 2011 dollars) spent on average each year for these activities during the Cold War era.
This is outrageous, unnecessary, dangerous — and expensive.
Worse, the budget has hundreds of millions in nuclear pork for new bomb plants that would enable the U.S. to increase its capacity to create new nuclear weapons in the future. For example, the budget proposes funding a new plutonium facility in New Mexico to enable a huge increase in the production of plutonium pits, which are the radioactive cores of nuclear weapons. This piece of toxic nuclear pork will cost taxpayers $225 million in the coming year, and about $4 billion by the time construction is complete. Moreover, the costs to non-proliferation and disarmament goals are incalculable.
Further, the budget request includes $252 million for a study in 2011 to upgrade the B61 nuclear bomb, which the U.S. has deployed in Europe. While Congress considers whether to spend our money on plans to “modify” and “life-extend’ this nuke, Germany, Poland and others are pressing for its removal from Europe.
You have a crucial role to play because your Senators and Representative will be voting on the nuclear weapons budget. Please call your Members of Congress through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
Be sure to make your voice heard between May 31 and June 4, 2010. This is a national week of action on the nuclear weapons budget, called “Cut the Nuclear Pork.” Your action to stop nuclear weapons will be made even more effective this week by the corresponding actions of your friends, neighbors and colleagues who will also be responding to this alert.
Last year, emails and calls from people like you created the grassroots pressure that successfully eliminated pork for nuclear weapons from the economic stimulus bill. We can do it again and, this time, reduce the 2011 nuclear weapons budget.
Please call or email now and ask YOUR elected officials to cut the nuclear weapons budget and to fund other, urgent priorities instead.
Thank you for speaking out and making your voice heard.