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Nevada congresswoman continues fight against nuke tests

WASHINGTON — Two lawmakers from Nevada and Utah filed an amendment Friday to the defense bill that would prohibit the Defense Department from resuming nuclear weapons testing.

Reps. Dina Titus, D-Nev., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah, filed the measure as the House prepares to mark up the massive defense bill that authorizes spending for fiscal year 2021, which begins Oct. 1.

Titus filed an amendment to a separate appropriations bill last month that would prohibit providing federal funds on nuclear weapons tests.

Although it appears repetitious, the Las Vegas lawmaker is “doubling down” on legislation to block resumption of nuclear testing in the federal government’s two-track budget and spending process.

“Conducting an explosive nuclear test would directly threaten Nevadans’ health while needlessly restarting a nuclear arms race with Russia and China,” Titus said.

“The Department of Energy has repeatedly certified that our nuclear stockpile is safe and reliable. There is no reason to conduct an explosive nuclear test,” she added.

Residents of Utah also suffered from the radioactive fallout from atomic testing last century.

The House plans to take up and vote on the defense bill when it returns this month following a holiday work period.

Senators also are trying to cobble together their version of the defense bill. A Senate spending plan includes $10 million to prepare for renewed nuclear weapons tests, an amount inserted by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

Several bills and amendments have been filed in the Senate to block the Trump administration from a resumption of testing. Those measures were filed by Nevada Democratic Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, Jacky Rosen, and another by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

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