“I respectfully request that you publicly repudiate and correct the inaccurate and misleading information contained in your October 1 letter [to the supercommittee],” Turner wrote.
"Rep. Turner’s accounting of the nuclear weapons program makes Enron look like mathematicians," Markey said in a statement made available to The Hill late Wednesday. "His calculations exclude hundreds of billions in spending over the next decade on missile defense, nuclear threat reduction and environmental remediation from previous nuclear weapons production, all of are which are massive costs associated with the nuclear weapons program.
"This patently-false undercount that neglects past spending information does nothing to help tackle the kind of cuts needed to reduce our deficit," the Massachusetts Democrat said.
Turner trotted out the Obama administration’s nuclear arms budget figures, which show Washington spends $21.4 billion annually on its nukes, which translates into $214 billion over a decade.
The House Republican subcommittee chairman also notes when asked during a Nov. 2 congressional hearing about the $700 billion figure, James Miller, a senior Pentagon official, said it was arrived upon using “curious arithmetic” and some “double counting.”
The American Security Project, a non-partisan think tank, produced a television ad that aired in Washington and other areas during the Nov. 22 GOP presidential debate arguing for nuclear-arms cuts also used the $700 billion figure.
“The Cold War is over. Yet some in Congress want to spend over $700 billion on old, outdated nuclear programs, forcing the Pentagon to go without modern defense programs our troops need to face 21st century threats,” an announcer says during the ad. “Tell Congress it’s time we ended these pork-barrel nuclear programs. Our troops need help fighting terrorists, not Soviets.”
Dozens of lawmakers also received copies of Turner's letter.
—This article has been corrected.
This article was updated at 9:30 p.m.