U.S. Sen. Bob Corker has called on the Obama administration to maintain its commitment to nuclear modernization in next year’s budget and include the necessary funding in the fiscal year that starts in October.
Corker, a Tennessee Republican, made the request after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed support for resources to modernize the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
Corker is the ranking member of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.
In a press release, he said President Barack Obama agreed to provide the “full and necessary funding to upgrade and modernize the United States’ aging nuclear arsenal” during the Senate debate in 2010 over the New START Treaty with Russia.
“As Secretary Hagel emphasized the importance of appropriate resources to modernize our nation’s nuclear arsenal, I urge the Obama administration to match this level of commitment with the funding necessary in the 2015 budget request so modernization remains on track,” Corker said in the release. “To date, their track record has been inconsistent. I recognize the need to address the nation’s spending problems, but I believe we can meet this challenge while also ensuring a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, which is vital for U.S. and global security.”
The New START treaty committed the United States and Russia, former Cold War rivals, to reducing deployed strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550 per side by 2018.