Democrats rebuff GOP push for low-yield nuclear weapons

June 12, 2019 - 6:22 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats rebuffed attempts by Republicans Wednesday to authorize funding for so-called low-yield nuclear weapons that the Trump administration says are key to deterring Russia.

Republicans put forward two amendments to fund the weapons in a defense bill, but both were rejected in a voice vote Wednesday. A formal roll-call vote on the amendments is planned for later.

Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., eliminated funding in the legislation for low-yield nuclear weapons that could be placed on submarines. He said the weapons increase the likelihood of nuclear conflict.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming accused Smith of "disarming" America "unilaterally."

Critics of low-yield nuclear weapons warn they could spark another nuclear arms race.

The issue will likely re-emerge in the Republican-controlled Senate. The House and Senate will have to negotiate a final version of the annual policy bill before it becomes law.

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