Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation that would cut all funding for the Reliable Replacement Warhead Program through Fiscal Year 2010, and require the Administration to conduct in-depth reviews of U.S. nuclear policy and posture.

The Nuclear Policy and Posture Review Act of 2007 is co-sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Russell Feingold (D-WI), and Edward Kennedy (D-MA).

“I believe this legislation is essential to put the brakes on the Bush Administration’s push to develop the Reliable Replacement Warhead without the appropriate study and bipartisan review,” Senator Feinstein said.

On July 25, the Administration published a three-page white paper in which it argued that the Reliable Replacement Warhead Program should be funded. Senator Feinstein opposes such funding, asserting that developing the Reliable Replacement Warhead will, in effect, create a new-generation nuclear weapon.

“This is a dangerous course. This will send precisely the wrong signal to states with nuclear aspirations – such as North Korea and Iran – and it will encourage the nuclear proliferation that we are trying to stop,” Senator Feinstein said.

“It is clear to me that the Bush Administration is trying to reopen the nuclear door by attempting to speed research into this new warhead. A thorough and detailed analysis of nuclear weapons policy and posture is needed before Congress can decide whether to move forward with this program.”

“The Administration’s white paper does not change the fact that in each of the past 11 years, the Secretaries of Energy and Defense have certified that America’s nuclear stockpile is safe and reliable. Nor does it change the fact there is no new military requirement to replace existing, well-tested warheads – or the fact the National Laboratories found that plutonium pits have life spans of at least 85 years. The bottom line: This Administration is pushing too hard, too early for a program with too many red flags.”

The Nuclear Policy and Posture Review Act of 2007, introduced Wednesday, would:

  • Prohibit the appropriation of any funds for the Reliable Replacement Warhead Program -- for Fiscal Years 2008, 2009 and 2010 -- until required reports are delivered to Congress by the President and Secretary of Defense;
  • Require the President to conduct a nuclear policy review to consider a range of options on the role of nuclear weapons in United States security policy. The Administration may reach out to outside experts and conduct public hearings to obtain a wide range of views. This policy review will provide options and recommendations for the subsequent posture review. The policy review report is due to Congress no later than September 1, 2009;
  • Require the Secretary of Defense, following completion of the nuclear policy review, to conduct a comprehensive review of the nuclear posture of the United States, to clarify U.S. nuclear deterrence policy and strategy. This report shall be due to Congress no later than March 1, 2010.