By Keary Iarussi
When the fallout cleared from the failure of a House amendment to a 2014 spending bill that would have eliminated a small amount of funding for yet another unrealistic, over-budget, and behind-schedule military program, I was surprised to see our own representative, Tim Ryan, among the 31 Democrats that voted “no” on the amendment.
The amendment, proposed by Representatives Michael Quigley, D-Ill., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., would have cut only $23.7 million from a program to upgrade the B61 nuclear bomb. The figure represents the amount the House Appropriations Committee added on top of the funding request from the government agency responsible for the upgrade.
The B61 upgrade is Washington at its worst; the program has ballooned in cost from $4 billion to over $10 billion in two years, while the schedule has slipped four years. At its current price tag the bomb costs more than twice its weight in gold.
In their spending bill, the Senate cut $168 million from the amount requested for the program, pointing out, “the B61 bomb is not the lowest cost, lowest risk option that meets military requirements.”
It is a shock to see our representative vote with Republicans to carry on Washington-as-usual politics. Representative Ryan, we expect better from you.
Keary Iarussi, Struthers – The writer is a student at Miami University of Ohio and an intern at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington, D.C.