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May 31, 2012

Bulletin #150: Your help is wanted immediately: nuclear warhead spending amendments are being considered on the House floor tonight and tomorrow – please call or write your representative as soon as possible

Dear friends –

Congress is broken – and right now, terribly active on nuclear weapons issues.  Many sweeping proposals to prevent disarmament and enrich and empower nuclear contractors are now in play.

(Background, not necessary to read to act on this alert:)

Letter to Senate Armed Services Committee staff re: The nuclear weapons provisions of H.R. 4310, May 18, 2012

Selected Nuclear Weapons Provisions of the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), House and Senate Versions with comments (pdf) (updated 05-30-12)

Suffice it to say that most of these provisions originate in the House and will not pass the Senate.

But meanwhile the Senate Armed Services Committee, which met in secret to privately consider a draft Defense Authorization Act that will not become public until tomorrow (June 1), has picked up some of the House’s crazy ideas, no doubt from the same source (principally, the nuclear laboratories) and added some of their own.  Like this:

Senate Committee would Mandate Construction of Huge Additional Los Alamos Plutonium Facility over Pentagon, NNSA Objections, press release, May 25, 2012

LANL Lab Could Get Funded, Albuquerque Journal North, May 27, 2012

Will Rogers once said, “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.”  That’s exactly how it looks.

The good news is that the bill carrying these provisions, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2013, does not appropriate money.

The bad news is twofold: first, the ideas in the NDAA could infect the bills that DO make appropriations for nuclear weapons, first and foremost the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, which will likely be debated TOMORROW on the House floor.

This is the bill that funds the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the subset of the Department of Energy (DOE) which manages the nuclear weapons complex.

The whole situation is too complicated, and changing too fast, to explain fully.  The single most important thing, of all the things that could be said about these bills, is this:

Please call or write your congressperson RIGHT NOW, TONIGHT OR THE FIRST THING TOMORROW, asking him or her to vote NO on any amendment that would allow, fund, or demand construction of the CMRR-NF project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

CMRR-NF stands for Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility.

The Administration (including the Pentagon, STRATCOM, the White House, DOE, and NNSA) all do NOT WANT TO BUILD THIS PROJECT.  They all agree and have testified that it is totally unnecessary to build this project now.

Rogue contractors, their lobbyists, and disloyal elements in NNSA, together with New Mexico’s Democrats, led by Senator Jeff Bingaman and Representative Martin Heinrich, are pushing very hard to keep this project alive.

There is so much we want to share with you but that will have to come later.  Right now, please, help us finish off CMRR-NF.

Please forward this bulletin to your friends and other organizations via email, Facebook, Twitter, and telephone.  Trish will post this Bulletin right now so you can find a link at the top of our home page.

We will let you know what happens.

In solidarity,

Greg and Trish for the Study Group


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