The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has passed through the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) with many onerous and controversial provisions. (So controversial that 237 floor amendments have been offered on the NDAA.)
1. When viewing the NDAA on the whole, perhaps the most striking overall impression is that in this era of "austerity" the Republican controlled HASC added hundreds of millions of dollars to nuclear weapons programs OVER the already too generous funding the administration requested. To address this, Representative Jared Polis (D-Colorado) has introduced Amendment #165 that would strike funding for nuclear weapons activities beyond the administration's budget request.
2. Several provisions in the NDAA would gut oversight and safety at nuclear weapons sites, including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. One NDAA provision puts the defense contractors in charge of safety and another weakens oversight by the independent Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. Thankfully, an amendment has been offered to undo the damage. Sponsored by local Representative George Miller (D-Martinez), Amendment #167 would remove the bad language and delete the weakening provisions, thus maintaining the existing safety protections for workers and the public.
3. Additionally, the NDAA adds $100,000,000 to the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility at Los Alamos, depite the administration's request that the facility be put on a 5-year delay. Amendment #67 offered by Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.) would eliminate funding for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility in the authorization bill.
4. Our local Representative, John Garamendi (D-Livermore), has offered Amendment #130 to require that Congress receive further studies and analyses regarding the costs associated with building a third U.S. Ground-based Midcourse Missile Defense site to be located on the East Coast. His amendment would halt the reckless forward momentum and funding in the NDAA for an East Coast Missile Defense site.
Out of the 237 amendments being offered, these four are key to addressing the dangerous effects that the NDAA would otherwise have on nuclear weapons policy, facilities and communities across the country. A vote is expected beginning tomorrow.
So, what can you do to support these efforts? If one of these brave members of Congress represents you, call or email him/her ASAP with a thank you for offering an amendment, and urge them to support the others listed here. Otherwise, call or email your member of Congress ASAP urging him/her to support Amendments #165, #167, #67 and #130 to the National Defense Authorization Act.
To find your Representative's phone number, you may use this searchable online congressional directory or call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202)224-3121 and ask for your Representative's office.
The Department of Labor administers the Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) that provides benefits and compensation for workers made ill by on the job exposures to radiation and toxic chemicals and atomic and nuclear weapons facilities including the Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Sandia, California. Every year the EEOICPA Ombudsman (the office tasked with providing oversight over the Department of Labor's EEOICPA performance) releases a review of the program. The 2011 review, finally released on Tuesday, May 1st, revealed that Livermore Lab employees have filed more complaints about how the program is administered than any other site in the country.
Tri-Valley CAREs facilitates a sick worker support group for former workers of the Livermore Lab, Sandia (CA) and Berkeley Lab. We also can provide authorized representation to workers who want help filing thier claims. For more information on these programs, call Scott Yundt, Tri-Valley CAREs Staff Attorney at (925) 443 7148.
Click here to read the Department of Labor's Annual Report on the Status of EEOICPA
Thursday, May 17, 2012 7:30 - 9 PM
Tri-Valley CAREs Meeting
Tri-Valley CAREs monthly meeting will be held at the Livermore Library. We welcome new and long-time members alike. Our monthly meetings are a place to get acquainted, get informed, and get motivated. Be sure not to miss it.
Location: Livermore Public Library 1188 South Livermore Ave. Community Room A
More Info: (925) 443-7148
Thursday, June 7, 2012 5:30 PM
Letter to the Editor Writing Party
The theme for this months Letter the Editor writing party will be Livermore Valley Open Campus Iniative, and a making Livermore a "Green Lab." This broad topic will allow participants to write from a variety of perspectives. Come and "speak" your mind in a supportive atmosphere.
Location: Tri-Valley CAREs office, 2582 Old First St, Livermore
More Info: (925) 443-7148
Saturday, June 9, 2012 9:00 AM
Livermore Rodeo Parade
Tri- Valley CAREs will participate in the Livermore Rodeo Parade this year (last year we won a first place trophy). The parade is in downtown Livermore and starts at 10AM, but we will gather before to prepare our float and line up. All are welcome to volunteer to join our effort. The theme this year is "Which Future for Livermore Lab? 88% of Budget for Nuclear Weapons, or, Green Science & Jobs for all? Tri-Valley CAREs says "Green Lab".
Location: Downtown Livermore
More Info: (925) 443-7148