The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) would ban all nuclear explosions. President Clinton signed it in 1996 and transmitted it to the Senate in 1997. The Senate rejected it in 1999. To enter into force, 44 named nations, including the United States, must ratify the treaty. The Bush Administration opposes ratification but has maintained a moratorium on nuclear testing begun in 1992. This report presents pros and cons of key arguments: the treaty’s implications for nuclear nonproliferation, for maintaining and developing nuclear weapons, for the value of nuclear weapons, and for maintaining U.S. nuclear advantage; monitoring issues; and potential consequences of resuming testing.
The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) program has been the most controversial nuclear weapon program in Congress for the last several years. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating challenges from such nations; critics assert that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack. This report presents a brief technical background on RNEP, then discusses the history of RNEP in Congress and the Administration for the FY2005 and FY2006 budget cycles.
The Deepwater program is a $24-billion, 25-year acquisition program to replace or modernize 93 Coast Guard ships and 207 Coast Guard aircraft. The Coast Guard’s FY2006 budget requests $966 million for the program. Some Members of Congress have strongly criticized the Deepwater program on several grounds. The House version of H.R. 2360, the FY2006 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill, reduces the FY2006 Deepwater funding request to $500 million; the Senate version reduces it to $905.6 million.
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