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USA’s budget for nuclear weapons goes up and up

NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION:

Information on the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request and Affordability of Nuclear Modernization Activities, Government Accountability Office

GAO-20-573R: Published: Jul 30, 2020.  The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration is in the middle of a long-term effort to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

DOE’s 2021 budget estimate for nuclear modernization activities for FYs 2021-2025 is $81 billion—$15 billion more than its 2020 budget estimate for the same period.

Such an increase may require cuts in other national defense programs to keep the defense budget within spending limits.

What GAO Found

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is in the midst of a long-term effort to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile and its supporting production infrastructure. NNSA’s modernization plans and budgets are communicated to Congress on an annual basis primarily through two key documents—the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (SSMP) and DOE’s budget justification—together referred to as NNSA’s nuclear security budget materials. GAO reviewed four areas related to the affordability of NNSA’s modernization activities as described in these budget materials:

Funding for nuclear modernization activities. Congress funds NNSA’s nuclear modernization activities through the Weapons Activities appropriation account, which falls under the National Defense budget function along with other NNSA, DOE, and Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations related to the common defense and security of the United States. Discretionary defense spending for fiscal year 2021 may not exceed a certain statutory limit, or else a sequestration—a cancellation of budgetary resources—would be triggered. Therefore, a proposed increase for a given program under the National Defense budget function may need to be offset by reductions in other defense programs to keep the defense budget within statutory spending limits………https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-20-573r#summary

August 1, 2020 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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