Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about the President’s defense budget request:

“President Trump’s budget fails to provide us with a realistic plan for modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal. Instead, he would continue to pour taxpayer dollars into an unnecessary and impractical $1.2 trillion effort to improve and sustain more than 4,000 nuclear weapons. In this budget, the Department of Energy asks for an additional $1 billion to modernize nuclear weapons activities. That is an 11% increase compared to FY17 and a 46% increase since 2013. The budget also calls for significant spending on a new nuclear cruise missile—$850 million, or an increase of $535 million above FY17 in the Department of Energy and Air Force budgets—and a new ICBM system. 

“Many of these requests should have been delayed until the administration completes a Nuclear Posture Review to determine how many and what kind of nuclear weapons we need. With over 4,000 nuclear weapons, enough to destroy the world several times over, it is time to prioritize what we need to keep the country secure and free up funding for more essential defense programs, rather than fueling a dangerous nuclear arms race while spending approximately $30 billion a year on existing and next-generation nuclear weapons.”