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House passes Carbajal legislation on nuclear weapons, climate change 

Representative Salud Carbajal.

 

–Representative Salud Carbajal, a member of the House Armed Service Committee, announced that the United States. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Carbajal included provisions instructing the Department of Defense (DoD) to respond to the threats that climate change and nuclear proliferation pose to our national security.

“Our military is not immune to the impending threat from climate change,” said Carbajal. “Recognizing and acting to combat its harmful impacts is a priority for Central Coast residents and I am pleased to see this legislation included in our defense policy to strengthen our national security.”

Carbajal’s co-sponsored amendment on climate change signifies an official policy shift from the House Armed Services Committee, recognizing that climate change is a direct threat to United States national security interests. It requires a report from the DoD on the vulnerabilities to military installations and combatant commander requirements resulting from climate change.

Carbajal also amended the NDAA to require the Secretary of Defense to submit a report on a description of the impacts of nuclear proliferation on our national security and how the DoD is contributing to the currently strategy to respond to proliferation.

Watch Carbajal deliver remarks on his amendment to report on the impacts of nuclear proliferation. Below are his remarks as drafted:

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Ranking Member Smith, Chairman Thornberry and the Committee staff for working with me to include a number of priorities for the Central Coast in the FY2018 NDAA. I am especially pleased that this bill includes language that brings attention to the threat of nuclear proliferation. We too often focus on nuclear modernization and having “more” weapons, but sideline the threat of nuclear proliferation. Currently, nine countries possess over 15,000 nuclear weapons and the United States plans to spend $1.2 trillion over the next thirty years to upgrade and expand its nuclear stockpile. As we build-up our nuclear arsenal, we are increasing the risk of these destructive weapons ending up in the hands of terrorists and states which pose a serious threat to US national security. The language I included in this bill stresses the importance of addressing this danger and requires the Secretary of Defense to explain how the DoD is responding to this threat. When Secretary Mattis testified before our Committee I asked him about this ongoing threat and he told me that “nuclear nonproliferation has not received enough attention over quite a few years. This amendment is a welcome first step in the development of a robust strategy against nuclear proliferation.”

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