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Progressive Democrats slam Joe Biden’s about-face on nuclear weapons spending

Left slams Biden’s nuclear weapons budget 
Politico, By BRYAN BENDER 06/03/2021 

ABOUT-FACE? Biden ran on a platform opposing new nuclear weapons, but his first defense budget goes all in on the Trump-era expansion, including maintaining plans for two new weapons. And leading Democrats and arms control groups are angry at what they see as a betrayal, Lara, Connor and your Morning D correspondent report for Pros.

A number of progressive Democrats, including those who have proposed legislation to curtail several nuclear projects, sounded emboldened. “We must instead spend money on threats that Americans are actually facing like pandemics and climate change, instead of on new destabilizing weapons when we can extend the lifespan of the ones we already have for much cheaper,” progressive Rep. Ro Khanna said in a statement.

Rep. John Garamendi, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, told POLITICO he also “strongly” believes “the United States needs to alter its modernization strategy from one that’s predicated on dominance to one that is based on deterrence.”

The strongest backlash came from disarmament advocates, who said they were expecting Biden to live up to his word. “President Biden ran on a campaign to reverse the budget and outrageous policies put forward by the Trump administration,” the Council for a Livable World said in a statement. “However, this budget expands nearly every nuclear program put forward by that administration. This is not acceptable.”

As “a long-time supporter of arms control and nuclear threat reduction,” the group said, Biden “can — and should — do better.”

Biden told the group during the campaign that “our current arsenal of weapons … is sufficient to meet our deterrence and alliance requirements.” The Democratic Party platform in 2020 also bluntly stated that “the Trump Administration’s proposal to build new nuclear weapons is unnecessary, wasteful, and indefensible.”

June 5, 2021 - Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war

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