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With the deadline of Friday, the pressure is on in Washington to come up with a budget resolution.
If a compromised is not reached, the federal government will shut down, which means the Los Alamos National Laboratory will have to close.
Republicans and Democrats, of course, differ on what needs to be cut.
But they actually do agree on one thing.
The House Republicans unveiled a budget plan Wednesday morning, which calls for “full funding” to modernize the nuclear weapons infrastructure in the United States.
The report was light on details, but the report did say, ““full funding for the modernization of the infrastructure that builds and maintains the nation’s nuclear weapons systems.”
The Obama administration proposed a 20 percent increase from 2010 to 2012 to the nuclear weapons budget.
On Wednesday, National Nuclear Safety administrator Thomas D’Agostino testified before the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee D’Agostino was joined by Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington in discussing the resources requested for NNSA’s nuclear nonproliferation program. And last week, LANL director Michael Anastasio also testified.
Submitted to Congress in mid-February, the budget request includes $11.8 billion for NNSA, an increase of 5.1 percent from the $11.2 billion requested for FY 2011. It includes $7.6 billion for NNSA’s defense programs, $2.5 billion for its nuclear nonproliferation program and $1.1 billion for NNSA’s naval reactors program.
“President Obama has committed to invest more than $85 billion over the next decade to assure the safety, security and effectiveness of our nuclear stockpile, and to modernize the infrastructure and revitalize the science and technology base that supports our full range of nuclear security missions,” D’Agostino said.
D’Agostino also stressed the NNSA will do its best to improve the way it does business.
“I realize that this committee has many competing requirements,” D’Agostino said. “And while I believe nothing is more important than ensuring our nation’s security, I also recognize that this request comes at a time of acute financial stress for our entire country. It is my responsibility to assure you that we can manage those resources wisely.”
The House unveiled a budget plan that calls for both unprecedented spending cuts and a fundamental restructuring of taxpayer-financed health care for the elderly and the poor.
The plan would slash federal spending by $5 trillion or more over the coming decade. It would leave Social Security untouched but shift more of the risk from rising medical costs from the government to future Medicare beneficiaries. It also calls for sharp cuts to Medicaid health care for the poor and disabled and to food aid for the poor.
Dubbed the “Path to Prosperity,” the proposal by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also calls for dramatically overhauling the complicated and inefficient U.S. tax code. It would scrap numerous tax breaks and loopholes in exchange for reducing the top income tax rate for both individuals and corporations from 35 percent to 25 percent.