Cash-Strapped Congress Fully Funds B-61 Solid Gold Nuke

January 15, 2014

For Immediate Release:                                       

Contact: Rebecca Remy, 202-783-4401

Washington, DC -- Congress this week gave full funding to the $11 billion program to upgrade the B-61 nuclear bomb in the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill. Each B61 nuclear bomb, a Cold War relic still stationed in Europe to deter Soviet invasion, has been estimated to cost more than twice its weight in gold. As former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright has noted, B-61 bombs have a military value of "practically nil."

"This decision represents the triumph of entrenched nuclear interests over good government. The B-61 is no longer relevant for U.S. national security, but continues to rob billions of dollars from programs that would make America safer," said President Joe Cirincione.

The FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill fully funds the National Nuclear Security Administration's B-61 Life Extension Program at the requested $537 million, despite multiple attempts in the Senate and House to curtail the program and force the administration to pursue less expensive alternatives.

"The B-61 is a golden example of what is wrong with the nuclear weapons budget. The bomb lost its military purpose two decades ago, but some in Congress are willing to spend endlessly to upgrade them - despite the existence of cheaper alternatives," said Senior Policy Analyst Benjamin Loehrke.

Congressional leaders - such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) - deserve praise for their efforts to steward taxpayer dollars and bring the B-61 program under control.

Congress will have the opportunity to revisit this decision in the FY 2015 budget cycle. In the meantime, taxpayers will be spending money to refurbish a bomb worth more than its weight in solid gold.

For more information on the B61 bomb, please see:

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