Thursday, October 4, 2007

Speaker Pelosi on RRW

Below is a constituent response letter from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program. (HT to Stephen Young). Like the letter from Sen. Dorgan I highlighted earlier, Pelosi expresses her opposition to RRW, noting that it contradicts U.S. efforts to stop proliferation and likewise undermines our credibility on the issue.

Dear [Constituent]:

Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to President Bush's plan for the development of a nuclear weapon called the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

The RRW is a newly designed nuclear weapon that claims to require less maintenance than other nuclear warheads. Proponents also believe that the RRW would be easier to manufacture and safer to monitor and test.

In the President's Budge t request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) requested over $645 million for FY 2008 through FY 2012 to for the RRW. In addition, the Navy made a separate request of $30 million for FY 2008 and $50 million for FY 2009 for this weapon's development.

HR 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008, cut the Navy's request for RRW funds from $30 million to $5 million and similar NNSA funds from $88.8 million to $68.8 million. These reductions were recommended by a congressional commission on U.S. Strategic Posture and Nuclear Weapons Strategy. On May 17, 2007, this legislation was passed in the House by a vote of 397-27.

Even more significantly, all funds requested by the NNSA for RRW in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill (HR 2641) were eliminated in an Energy and Water Development Subcommittee markup meeting. Committee Chairman Peter Visclosky expressed the subcommittee's belief that a more comprehensive nuclear strategy was needed before a new nuclear weapon was developed. On July 17, 2007, HR 2641 was passed by the House by a vote of 312-112.

One of the gravest threats to the security of the United States is the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The United States today is struggling to prevent other countries from gaining access to nuclear weapons, and is searching for ways to encourage the North Koreans and Iranians to abandon their nuclear programs. The development of the RRW contradicts our efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and associated technologies. As a signatory of the agreement our mission is to move toward general and complete disarmament of atomic weapons. By developing new nuclear weapons while urging other countries not to develop a nuclear capability, I believe we undermine our credibility on the proliferation issue.

For more information on this and other issues affecting our country, I invite you to visit my website at Thank you again for taking the time to express your views on this important subject. I hope you will continue to communicate with me on matters of concern to you.


Nancy Pelosi
Member of Congress

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