Introduction of the Smarter Approaches to Nuclear Expenditures (Sane) Act

Floor Speech

Date: May 18, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, today I introduced the Smarter Approaches to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act.

The United States will spend $494 billion on our nuclear arsenal through Fiscal Year 2028, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Even the Pentagon acknowledges that this level of spending--more than XXXX--is not necessary to secure the United States. The Defense Department's 2013 Report on Nuclear Employment Strategy of the United States declared we can ensure the security of the U.S. and our allies and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while pursuing up to a one-third reduction in deployed nuclear weapons from the level established in the New START Treaty. Other experts, including a commission chaired by former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James Cartwright, said the U.S. could go even lower without jeopardizing security.

The SANE Act aims to inject fiscal responsibility and strategic reality into the United States' nuclear weapons planning by reducing the purchase of replacement nuclear submarines, cutting the existing ICBM fleet, cancelling the development of new ICBMs, removing the nuclear mission from the F-35, eliminating the life extension program for the tactical B61 gravity bomb and cancelling the development of a new air-launched cruise missile, and terminating construction of new facilities for nuclear weapons processing and storage.

By strategically sizing our nuclear weapons programs, the SANE Act will save at least $73 billion over 5 years and stay within the New START Treaty warhead levels.

America must reconcile the facts: our Defense budget is already squeezed, a nuclear deterrent is irrelevant to current international security challenges, yet a nuclear deterrent is still a national security imperative. The SANE Act would secure our nuclear deterrent without undercutting critical investments in readiness and other essential programs.