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

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSenate confirms Haspel to head CIA Democrats urge colleagues to oppose prison reform bill Trump-backed prison reforms face major obstacles in Senate 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.

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But Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinCongress — when considering women’s health, don’t forget about lung cancer Overnight Energy: Pruitt taps man behind 'lock her up' chant for EPA office | Watchdog to review EPA email policies | Three Republicans join climate caucus Man who coined 'lock her up' chant to lead EPA's Pacific Southwest office 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 Forbes KerryJuan Williams: Trump's dangerous lies on Iran Pompeo: US tried, failed to achieve side deal with European allies Trump administration braces for big week ahead in foreign policy 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."