The President said he will veto the National Defense Authorization Act as it is currently written because it includes, among other things, funding for a costly nuclear weapons facility, according to a statement the White House released yesterday.
The Administration “strongly objects” to efforts to construct the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility (CMRR) in 2013, according to the President.
“The Departments of Defense and Energy agree that, in light of today's fiscal environment, CMRR can be deferred for at least five years, and funds reallocated to support higher priority nuclear weapons goals,” the President wrote.
The November 29 statement echoes the President’s latest budget request, which proposed delaying construction of the nearly $6-billion facility and using existing facilities to fulfill its missions. The CMRR-NF would produce and store plutonium pits, a primary component of nuclear weapons.
The President specified that the National Nuclear Security Administration would implement an “interim strategy” for plutonium pits until it can implement a long-term strategy.
Given the fact that less costly alternatives exist, the Project On Government Oversight and bipartisan allies have long opposed CMRR-NF. As POGO pointed out in our January report, U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Energy Department Plans to Waste Billions of Dollars on Unneeded Los Alamos Lab Facility, even former nuclear weapons lab officials believe the facility is a waste of money.
“The President’s statement on CMRR-NF is a victory for responsible spending,” said POGO Senior Investigator Peter Stockton. “It’s about time this nuclear facility was killed for good.”
Mia Steinle is an investigator with the Project On Government Oversight.Follow @miasteinle