Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) has prepared an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill, up for debate this week, that could withhold 10% of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) budget until the agency completes more reports about its plans to manufacture new nuclear-weapon cores.
The amendment would alter the draft of the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) released Monday
by Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the chair of the House Armed Services Committee. The committee was scheduled to debate the 2023 NDAA, which sets policy and funding ceilings for defense programs, on Wednesday.
The first of Garamendi’s amendments would require the NNSA to: submit an integrated master schedule for plutonium pit factories at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C.; complete a new environmental impact statement for production of pits at the two sites; and contract with an “independent non-profit” to review plutonium pit aging and how that affects nuclear weapons.
In the past several years, and on a bipartisan basis, the House Armed Services Committee has typically rejected Garamendi’s proposals to curtail or delay the NNSA’s expansion of the civilian nuclear-weapons production complex.