Congressman Jim Matheson today stated his strong disagreement with language in an annual defense bill that equates no new nuclear weapons with weakened national security. Matheson submitted a statement for the record during debate on H.R. 5136 - Fiscal Year '11 Defense Authorization Act.
"I am disappointed with a Sense of Congress that was added to this bill during the House Armed Services Committee vote, stating that the recently released Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) weakens our national security. I disagree with that position," Matheson's statement says.
The Nuclear Posture Review --led by the Department of Defense--states that America 's nuclear arsenal will be maintained safely and securely without the need to develop new nuclear warheads.
"The Review is particularly important since it shuts the door on new nuclear weapons testing," Matheson's statement says. "I have long had concerns that the development of new nuclear weapons could lead us back down a path to new nuclear weapons testing, which I strongly oppose."
Matheson points to scientific evidence that overwhelmingly concludes the current nuclear arsenal --that the Pentagon says totals 5,113 nuclear warheads--is a sufficient and reliable deterrent. Matheson says the NPR rightly combines the goals of securing the existing stockpile with a plan to reduce nuclear danger worldwide and targeting scare resources for enhancing intelligence and conventional weaponry.