While President Joe Biden proposed revoking the Pentagon budget for development of a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile, which was initiated by former President Donald Trump, a surprising bipartisan coalition has come together to ensure it moves forward.
The still-classified Nuclear Posture Review by the Pentagon, which lays out a roadmap for the future of the country’s nuclear arsenal, zeroed out funding for the missile in Biden’s most recent budget, according to reporting by Politico.
However, testimony from top military brass, including Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley, prompted bipartisan criticism against Biden’s plan in Congress.
The Senate and House Armed Services committees have both authorized funding and Congress will almost certainly send Biden a compromise defense policy bill that rejects his plan to cancel the nuclear cruise missile program.
A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said that the administration “stands by the President’s budget submission, which canceled the SLCM-N.”
Patty-Jane Geller, a senior policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, argues the weapon is more crucial than ever to deter enemy countries, especially China and Russia.
“If we were to keep our nuclear force posture the same then that’s essentially just ceding this advantage to Russia and China because as they build up, especially their regional nuclear capabilities,” Geller said.