WASHINGTON, D.C. – In testimony before the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee (HEWD) of the House Committee on Appropriations, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Thomas D'Agostino today said President Obama’s FY 2012 Budget Request provides the necessary resources to invest in the future of the nuclear security enterprise, implement the president’s nuclear security agenda, and improve the way the NNSA does business.
Administrator D’Agostino was joined by Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook in discussing the resources requested for NNSA’s weapons activities account. Submitted to Congress in mid-February, the budget request includes $11.8 billion for NNSA, an increase of 5.1 percent from the $11.2 billion requested for FY 2011. It includes $7.6 billion for the Weapons Activities appropriation, $2.5 billion for NNSA’s nuclear nonproliferation program, and $1.1 billion for NNSA’s Naval Reactors Program.
The following are excerpts of Administrator D’Agostino’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery during this morning’s hearing.
- ON THE PRESIDENT’S COMMITMENT TO NNSA: “Despite the challenging economic times facing our country, President Obama requested $11.8 billion for NNSA, up from $11.2 billion in the 2011 budget request. This is the second consecutive year in which he has requested increased resources for our program, which reflects his commitment to our mission.”
- ON BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR THE MISSION: “I’d like to begin by thanking the two of you for your continued support of the Department of Energy, of my organization – the National Nuclear Security Administration – and of the 35,000 men and women working across the enterprise to keep our country safe, protect our allies, and enhance global security. We could not do the work we do without strong, bipartisan support and engaged leadership from the Congress.
- ON INVESTING IN THE FUTURE: “First, we are investing in the future. This budget request reflects the commitment President Obama made last November to invest more than $85 billion over the next decade to assure the safety, security and effectiveness of our nuclear stockpile and to modernize the nuclear security infrastructure and revitalize the science and technology base that supports our full range of nuclear security missions.”
- ON IMPLEMENTING THE PRESIDENT’S NUCLEAR SECURITY AGENDA: “This budget makes the investments needed to continue to implement the President’s nuclear security agenda. In addition to the $7.6 billion investment in modernizing our infrastructure and maintaining the nuclear deterrent, this budget request provides $2.5 billion in FY 2012 and more than $14.2 billion over the next five years for our nuclear nonproliferation programs. To power the nuclear Navy, the budget request includes more than $1.1 billion for the NNSA’s Naval Reactors program, an increase of 7.8 percent over the FY 2011 President’s Request.”
- ON IMPROVING THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS: “Mr. Chairman, we recognize that this request for increased investments in the nuclear security enterprise comes at a time of acute financial challenges for our nation, and we recognize the need to be effective stewards of the taxpayer’s money. That brings me to the third key theme outlined in this budget request, and that is our commitment to improving the way we do business and manage our resources, including budget resources, our people, our projects, and our infrastructure.”
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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.