Congressman Brad Sherman leads Bipartisan Resolution Honoring Richard Lugar’s Legacy, Pushing Future Arms Control
Reps. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Jim Banks (R-IN), Bill Foster (D-IL), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), introduced The Richard Lugar Nonproliferation and Arms Control Legacy Resolution. Along with honoring Senator Lugar’s legacy, this resolution reaffirms America’s commitment to reducing nuclear dangers.
Senator Richard Lugar, who passed away on April 28, 2019, was instrumental in establishing the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program that eliminated 7,600 nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union following the Cold War. He also helped secure Senate ratification of the New START Treaty in 2010. The New START Treaty caps the size of U.S. and Russian nuclear warheads at 1,550 nuclear warheads.
This resolution— which is being introduced in the Senate by Senators Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Rand Paul (R-KY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Ben Cardin (D-MD)— carries on Senator Lugar’s legacy. It reaffirms U.S. support for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and America’s contributions to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Encouraging the U.S. to seek every opportunity to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, the resolution also calls for an extension of New START in 2021 if it advances U.S. interests, while also recognizing the benefits of including China in future arms control treaties. The bipartisan, bicameral resolution also strongly criticizes Russia for violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which eliminated 2,700 medium-range missiles.
“Since the McMahon Act passed in 1946, Congress has often served as America’s moral compass on nonproliferation issues,” said Congressman Sherman, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Nonproliferation. “I am proud to join with my colleagues from both parties in affirming our commitment to uphold this worthy tradition.”
“Senator Lugar was one of the greatest statesman of our time. His leadership on the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and the New START Treaty led to an era of denuclearization and peace,” said Congressman Banks. “We now live in an era where these historic boundaries are tested. Russia violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and China is rapidly investing in its nuclear enterprise. If we are to keep the world safe from nuclear warfare, we much channel Senator Lugar and ensure our adversaries comply with the nuclear standards of a more peaceful era.”
“I am proud to join with my colleagues on this bipartisan resolution to reaffirm America’s commitment to nuclear nonproliferation,” Congressman Foster said. “This resolution is a fitting tribute to the work that defined Senator Richard Lugar and made our world a safer place.”
“Senator Richard Lugar was an incredible leader, especially in reducing the threat of nuclear weapons,” said Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Nuclear Security Working Group. “It is incumbent upon us in Congress to sustain his legacy of leadership on nuclear threat reduction and arms control, as our nation confronts the complex challenges of nuclear proliferation.”
“The Non-Proliferation Treaty is our strongest instrument to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Not only do we need to support this treaty, but Congress must also provide the funds to ensure that other counties adhere to these standards,” said U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM). “The Department of Energy National Laboratories play many critical roles in implementing this treaty through surveillance, detection, and recovery of nuclear material and I commend them for their contributions in helping to keep the world safe. This legislation is a fine honor to Senator Lugar for his leadership on arms control and nuclear nonproliferation.”
“The legacy of Senator Lugar cannot be overstated. Without his efforts, the world might have been a much more dangerous place,” said Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, a co-chair of the Congressional Nuclear Security Working Group. “It is an honor to carry his name forward and spearhead the unified support that nonproliferation and strategic arms control commands in both houses and parties.”