An amendment sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) to improve nuclear security advanced out of the House last week, along with others included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“I was proud to vote for the National Defense Authorization Act, which makes major investments to support our service members and sustain the research and innovation that makes our country safer and stronger,” Foster said. “As the only Ph.D. physicist in Congress, working on issues of nuclear non-proliferation has always been one of my top priorities. I’m proud this legislation takes the necessary steps to bolster our national security, including my amendment to ensure nuclear testing inspections remain in the hands of U.S. experts and our international partners.”
Currently, the United States restricts funding for the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization’s Preparatory Commission, which monitors nations’ compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban treaty and undertakes on-site inspections of nuclear facilities. Under Foster’s amendment, that hold on funding would be repealed. That, the lawmaker hopes, would allow the United States greater room for influence in the body and to collaborate with international partners on methods of nuclear testing inspections.
As a bonus, Foster indicated that it could reduce the influence of nations such as Russia, China, and Iran in the process.