Democrats in the House of Representatives of the US Congress introduced a bill prohibiting the use of budgetary funds to conduct new nuclear tests in the country. This was reported by Congresswoman from Nevada Dina Titus, who is one of the authors of the legislative initiative.

“I am very pleased to announce that the recently published legislation on appropriations in the field of energy and water supply includes my bill, the purpose of which is to prevent President Trump from testing nuclear weapons and to refuse funding for (spent nuclear fuel storage. - RT ) Yucca -Mountain. Let's continue in the same vein. This is great news for Nevada! ” - wrote on her Twitter page a member of the lower house of Congress.

I'm thrilled to announce that the newly released House Energy and Water Appropriations legislation includes my bill to prevent Trump from conducting an explosive nuclear weapons test and zero funding for Yucca Mountain. Let's keep it that way. This is outstanding news for Nevada!

- Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) July 6, 2020

Earlier, on June 23, Titus also raised the topic of resuming nuclear testing by the United States. According to her, the National Nuclear Safety Administration in 2013 recognized that underground tests in Nevada led to "radioactive releases to the environment, in particular to groundwater."

"Now the Trump administration is considering asking residents of Nevada once again to put themselves at risk for the sake of conducting an unjustified experiment that will reduce the security of our country," said a member of the US House of Representatives on her official website.

In addition, Titus called for "continuing to ensure the safety and reliability" of the United States nuclear arsenal, while "not encouraging other countries to acquire or test nuclear weapons."

“In early June, I introduced a bill to maintain leadership in countering nuclear explosions (PLANET Act) to prohibit the spending of financial resources on the preparation or conduct of nuclear tests with the detonation of charges of any capacity. I urge you, together with me, to reinforce the requirement to prevent the use of federal funds for this dangerous experiment, which will unnecessarily endanger the residents of Nevada and all Americans and resume the arms race, ”the politician said.

Nuclear Agenda

Democrats spoke out against the ban on the use of budgetary funds for conducting new nuclear tests in the United States against the backdrop of American media reports about Washington's intentions to resort to such a step for the first time since 1992. 

As The Washington Post reported on May 22, US authorities discussed the possibility of such measures on May 15 at a meeting of US officials from departments involved in national security issues. A few days after the publication of this material and. about. Pentagon’s assistant chief of nuclear affairs, Drew Walter, said Washington is ready to begin nuclear testing within a few months if the order comes from the head of the White House.

Later, in June, congressmen from the Democratic Party addressed in an open letter to the US ministers of defense and energy with a request to answer a number of questions related to reports of a possible resumption of nuclear tests in the US. In particular, lawmakers were interested in whether the US intelligence agencies and agencies analyzed the likely consequences of such a move. Democrats then also stated that such plans were contrary to the “Review of Nuclear Policy” adopted by the presidential administration in 2018.

In their view, "the resumption of nuclear testing would jeopardize" US national security and their "superiority of nuclear deterrence potential." The authors of the letter also pointed to the need to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would "significantly strengthen US national security."

In a similar letter addressed to Donald Trump, 80 senators and congressmen called on the head of the White House to "decisively abandon the harmful idea" to conduct nuclear tests, since there is no "technical need" for this. In addition, such a step "will constitute a dangerous provocation."

After all these calls, Marshall Billingsley, US President’s Special Envoy for Arms Control, said there was no reason to restart nuclear testing. According to him, the United States did not inform Russia about the possibility of withdrawing its signature from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

  • Capitol
  • AFP
  • © Alex Edelman

At the same time, in February, the US Navy tested Trident II ballistic missiles without a warhead. It is worth noting that at the moment it is the only missile in the US Navy that can carry a nuclear charge.

Political aspect

According to Andrei Sidorov, Dean of the Faculty of World Politics at Moscow State University, the Democrats bill “cannot be adopted earlier than next year.”

“Congressmen sit until the end of July, then they will have a break and presidential elections in the fall. In addition, the initiative may not be adopted in the Senate, which for the most part consists of Republicans, ”the expert said in a conversation with RT.

However, the main goal of the Democrats is to create an additional “negative field” around Trump in anticipation of the election process, Sidorov believes.

“This is the political significance of the proposal of the supporters of the Democratic Party. After all, it includes the thesis of the irresponsibility of the Trump administration, which can take an unacceptable measure - violating the moratorium, conduct nuclear weapons tests. Democrats have now come up with such an initiative, because, on the one hand, relevant information has appeared in the American media, and on the other, the political struggle is in full swing and the Democratic Party must score points from its electorate, ”the analyst explained.

As political scientist Sergei Sudakov, a corresponding member of the Academy of Military Sciences, noted, Democrats are now trying to show that Trump is "making the world even more dangerous." 

“They want to demonstrate to ordinary Americans that the US leader with all his peacekeeping slogans is actually unpredictable and destroys international agreements,” the expert said in an interview with RT. 

Along with such statements, representatives of the Democratic Party give a signal to their partners in other countries, Sudakov added.

“Democrats say to the whole world: look, if we come to power, we will stop nuclear testing, make humanity safer, everything will be done in order to reduce tension in society. Democrats thus demonstrate that they are for world peace, ”the analyst said.

Money issue

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in early July that Moscow was under the impression that Washington was preparing to abandon the so-called voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing. This is stated in a statement published on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“The impression is that Washington is preparing the world community to abandon the still existing voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing in the United States and, as a result, to completely destroy the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,” the Foreign Ministry said.

  • US military
  • Reuters
  • © Bryan Woolston

The ministry also emphasized that Russia continues to strictly adhere to the declared moratorium on nuclear tests and to comply with the provisions of the CTBT regarding the prohibition of tests.

As Andrei Sidorov predicted, if the US really resumes nuclear testing, this will be followed by a “serious wave of modernization of nuclear weapons in other countries.”

“Trump has already said that, because of the moratorium, the United States is lagging behind in improving its nuclear weapons. It is possible that he really wants to realize the ideas of a small charge. And for this it is necessary to conduct tests. Moreover, they are usually associated with the modernization of the nuclear triad, that is, the improvement of carriers. This US triad includes obsolete B-52 bombers; there are not many new bombers. For this reason, the American side is developing the topic of nuclear testing, ”the expert said. 

Sergei Sudakov, in turn, noted that today the United States "has a complete understanding of what nuclear weapons they will rearm their military units."

“New trials are needed in order to increase allocations and defense spending. Here is an elementary question of money. Trump has already launched the process of reforming US nuclear forces. Now the Democrats are trying to stop him. If the current head of the White House manages to be re-elected, he will want to further change the system of rearmament of the country's nuclear forces, ”the analyst concluded.