House panel votes to limit Obama on nuke reduction

AP News
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Posted: May 11, 2011 8:15 PM
House panel votes to limit Obama on nuke reduction

A House panel has voted to limit the president's authority to reduce nuclear weapons under a U.S.-Russia treaty overwhelmingly ratified by the Senate last December.

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday approved an amendment that says the administration may not spend money to retire weapons until the defense and energy secretaries submit to Congress a modernization plan for the remaining weapons. The vote was 35-26.

Republicans said they were putting the brakes on any effort by the administration to race toward cuts.

Democrats said the amendment tied the hands of Obama and future presidents to reduce the nation's nuclear arsenal.

The treaty slashed the nuclear weapons held by the two former Cold War rivals and allowed on-site inspections to resume.