Last month, we alerted you to upcoming House and Senate votes to block funding for new nuclear-weapons programs. While the House amendment to cut off funding for these programs failed narrowly, the Senate vote has not yet taken place. Senators are scheduled to vote this Tuesday, June 15, and your Senatorsâ votes are expected to be critical. If you haven't yet taken the opportunity to weigh in with your Senators, now is the time to do so.
The Episcopal Church strongly supports the goal of total nuclear disarmament and the implementation of the international Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. "[I]n accordance with our faith in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace," the 1994 General Convention called upon U.S. leaders to "pursue diplomatic initiatives, for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons design, testing, and manufacture anywhere in the world."
The Bush Administration, in its FY'05 budget request earlier this year, asked Congress to increase funding for research and development on two key nuclear weapons programs:
- The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP), a weapon designed to penetrate underground bunkers, having 70 times the explosive power of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima; and
- The Advanced Concepts Initiative for new nuclear weapons, a program that includes research on low-yield weapons (âmini-nukes")
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) will offer an amendment to the FY'05 National Defense Authorization Act to block funding for these two nuclear-weapons programs.
You can help!
Please contact your Senators via e-mail - or call them at 800-513-3472. Urge them to support the Feinstein-Kennedy amendment to the defense authorization bill (S 2400). To send a letter to your Senators, click here.