Jonathan Chait

Another Spending Showdown

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With the national debt posing a fundamental threat to America's way of life, as so many Tea Parties have explained, another Obama initiative is being held up by Republicans due to concerns about big spending:

Obama has pledged to spend $80 billion over a decade to modernize the nuclear weapons complex, roughly a $10 billion increase in funding. In addition, the plan envisions spending $100 billion on strategic bombers and long-range missiles that carry nuclear warheads.

Several Republican senators say that's not enough.

"The modernization numbers are about $10 billion below" what's needed, said Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee whose vote has been courted by the administration. "That's obviously something that has to be addressed." He also called for more detail in the administration's plan.

Modernization of the nuclear weapons complex "is a huge consideration for me," Kyl said in an interview. He particularly wants to ensure the bigger funding outlays in the latter years of Obama's plan, he said.

Oh -- defense spending. That doesn't count. Carry on.

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