Sen. Cotton thwarted in push to limit Obama's nuclear disarmament

Sen. Tom CottonTom CottonCotton not ruling out 2020 White House bid GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election GOP chairman demands number of immigrants granted accidental citizenship MORE was thwarted on Wednesday in an attempt to limit the Obama administration's ability to reduce the nation’s stockpile of nuclear warheads.

The Arkansas Republican's proposed amendment to a defense policy bill would have capped the administration's spending on dismantling old or obsolete nuclear weapons to $50 million per year for the next five years.

But Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinAirbnb foes mobilize in Washington Top Dem: Russia trying to elect Trump Sanders, Dem senators press Obama to halt ND pipeline MORE (D-Calif.) blocked Cotton from getting his change added to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would have been the first step to getting it scheduled for a vote.

Feinstein argued that Cotton's amendment would "micromanage" the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees nuclear disarmament.

"It unnecessarily limits the National Nuclear Security Administration's ability to dismantle the retired nuclear weapons that no longer have any role in our national defense," she said.

Feinstein said Cotton's amendment also ignored an extra $4 million approved by the Appropriations Committee.

But Cotton said that his amendment had bipartisan approval and would allow the administration to increase its spending "under certain limited conditions."

"This is the Senate. This is an important issue. We should be debating the matter," he fired back at Feinstein. "We should call it up and make it pending and have a vote on it. Not object to it being brought to the floor to be debated."

Cotton suggested his amendment was needed in the wake of comments from Secretary of State John KerryJohn Kerry5 reasons Trump's final debate performance sealed his 2016 coffin US pledges to do all it can to fight 'grave threat' of nuclear North Korea Armani, Batali among guests at White House state dinner MORE that the administration would accelerate its dismantling of retired nuclear warheads by 20 percent.

He argued the decision "defies logic," adding that "Congress should not give a blank check to engage in disarmament at the time when Vladimir Putin is threatening the United States, and his missiles are shooting civilian aircraft out of the sky in the heart of Europe."