by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
House Armed Services Committee Republicans slammed the Biden administration for its inaction on America’s aging nuclear stockpile as China and Russia build up their own arsenals.
Ranking member Mike Rogers (R., Ala.) and 22 other Republicans pushed President Joe Biden in a Tuesday letter to retain and upgrade key pieces of America’s nuclear weapons technology, saying that failing to do so would mark a “fatal” mistake for America’s national security.
“[Nuclear weapon advancement] is the bedrock of our national defense and our allies and partners rely on our nuclear deterrent to maintain peace and order,” the letter reads. “It would be a fatal and strategic mistake for us to lose or degrade that capability.”
The letter comes as House Republicans organize a new effort to maintain high levels of defense spending enacted under the Trump administration. The left flank of the Democratic caucus has called for major cuts to the defense budget by the Biden administration in favor of an ambitious domestic spending agenda. Democrats are advocating cuts even as China and Russia press on with plans to beat out the United States in high-tech nuclear weapons.
The push from House Republicans is also receiving support from Senate colleagues. Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Deb Fischer (R., Neb.) echoed concerns from her colleagues that nuclear advancement should be a top priority for the Biden administration.
“After decades of deferment we cannot afford to delay modernizing our nuclear forces any further,” Fischer told the Washington Free Beacon. “The investments are necessary to prevent our systems from aging to the point where they are unable to function. Russia and China are also investing heavily in their nuclear forces, and it is vital that our deterrent remains credible and effective in the face of these growing threats.”