The top-ranked U.S. general again touted his support for the low-yield, nuclear-tipped sea-launched cruise missile the Biden administration wants to cancel, this time at the invitation of House Republicans during Tuesday’s Armed Services Committee hearing.

Army Gen. Mark Milley’s position on the nuclear sea-launched cruise missile, SLCM-N, “has not changed,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the administration’s fiscal year 2023 defense budget request.

Milley reiterated his support for the proposed weapon, notionally to carry a version of the Lawrence Livermore-modded W80-4 warhead,

in response to questions from Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), who chairs the committee’s strategic forces panel, and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.). The Biden administration’s 2023 budget request for the Pentagon included no funding for SLCM-N.

“My general view is that this president or any president deserves to have multiple options to deal with national security situations and my advice is listened to and I have an opportunity to express my voice on a continuous basis many, many times,” Milley said during the hearing.

Media have reported that the Biden administration’s nuclear posture review — circulating in Washington in classified form and due to be released in unclassified form in the coming months, according to the administration — will call for canceling both the SLCM-N and a life-extension program for the B83 megaton-capable gravity bomb. The Trump administration called for those programs in its 2018 nuclear posture review. 

Democrats control both the House and Senate but have so far failed to put any constraints whatsoever on either of the proposed weapons programs. 

The House last year approved a fiscal year 2022 budget that would have defunded both programs while the Senate, where there is a far smaller Democratic majority, called for gating some of the funding for those programs until the Pentagon certified it had an operational need for them.

But instead of either banning the weapons outright or conditioning their funding on Pentagon reports, the compromise 2022 omnibus budget passed in early March gave the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) all the funding it wanted for the warhead and the bomb for the fiscal year that runs through Sept. 30: $10 million for early development work on the SLCM-N variant of W80-4 and $98.5 billion for the B83 life extension.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Department of Energy had yet to release its detailed 2023 budget request for the NNSA.

A version of this story first appeared in Defense Daily affiliate publication Exchange Monitor.