FIRST ON FOX: A coalition of 18 House Republicans led by GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, RN.Y., is pressing Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm over her agency’s invitation for foreign adversaries to inspect a sensitive US nuclear test site.
In a letter sent Thursday morning, Stefanik and other Republicans criticized Granholm for recently offering China and Russia “unprecedented access” to the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site ( DOE). Bloomberg reported in September that the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration invited Chinese and Russian officials to tour the site to prove that the US is upholding a three-decade moratorium against testing nuclear weapons.
“I lead my colleagues in demanding that President Biden withdraw this false invitation to our adversaries in Beijing and Moscow that gives them unprecedented access and insight into our nuclear weapons,” Stefanik said. on Fox News Digital. “Inviting Communist China and Russia to have a front row seat to our sensitive nuclear weapons tests will give them invaluable information on how to defeat our nuclear capabilities and improve their own.”
“At a time when our adversaries are increasing their nuclear stockpiles to undermine America’s leadership allowing them access to one of our nuclear test sites will only advance this pursuit and lead to our own destruction ,” he continued.
NON-BINARY EX-BIDEN OFFICIAL SAM BRINTON WAS ON SECRET TAXPAYER-FUNDED TRIP DURING LUGGAGE THEFT
The National Nuclear Security Administration invited its Chinese and Russian counterparts to tour the Nevada site — where sensitive nuclear testing is being conducted — at the latest International Atomic Energy Agency summit, according to Bloomberg. Corey Hinderstein, a senior official with the National Nuclear Security Administration, said China and Russia did not immediately respond to the invitation.
GOP REP CALLS FOR IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY INTO BIDEN ENERGY SECRETARY GRANHOLM: ‘HE LIED, UNDER OATH’
The invitation comes months after Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended his country’s participation in America’s only remaining nuclear arms control pact. And last week Putin signed a law removing Russia from its ratification of a global treaty banning nuclear weapons tests in a move the State Department quickly condemned and which was evidence of worsening relations between the two sides.
Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., who was one of the co-signers of Stefanik’s letter to Granholm on Thursday, said that allowing foreign adversaries to observe US nuclear testing activities “allows them to get our methods and techniques and it destroys restraint.”
“As Chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, one of my priorities is to strengthen and protect our nuclear arsenal,” he told Fox News Digital. “In today’s world, nothing could do more harm to our national security than to lose this advantage. I was stunned to hear recent reports of Biden administration officials inviting citizens from our two greatest adversaries to observe the US nuclear weapons tests.”
“Russia and China should not have had insider access to our test. Both countries have had ample opportunities to be more open about their nuclear weapons development and deployments and have refused to do so. in judgment,” continued Colorado legislator.
BIDEN ENERGY SECRETARY BLAMES ‘BAD JUDGMENT’ ON HIS STAFF’S LOW EV CHARGERS FOR GAS CARS
Late last month, Lamborn introduced a bill to block foreign nationals from witnessing US nuclear weapons testing at national labs. The bill is attached to the Fiscal Year 2024 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act passed by the House on Oct. 26.
Thursday’s letter also comes as China continues to expand its own nuclear and armaments capabilities. Stefanik, Lamborn and other GOP lawmakers noted that the Defense Department has warned that China’s nuclear expansion has exceeded previous US expectations.
“The PRC is now projected to have more than 1,000 warheads by the end of this decade,” General Anthony Cotton, the commander of the US Strategic Command, told lawmakers at an Armed Services Committee hearing in March.
In their letter, the Republicans told Granholm that China would have no reason to stop aggressively expanding its nuclear development “if they are granted this access while offering nothing in return.” They went on to say that China has refused to engage in discussions on its nuclear expansion and that the DOE’s actions threaten to “strengthen their efforts to continue growing their arsenal.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“The notion of giving America’s adversaries access to our military sites — and enabling them to obtain information about US nuclear capabilities — is deeply alarming and fundamentally absurd,” Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., another letter co-signer, told Fox News Digital.
“I am proud to join my colleagues in asking the Biden administration to explain why they are inviting Russian and Chinese Communist Party officials to access our most sensitive laboratories and testing facilities.”
In addition to Stefanik, Lamborn and Wittman, fellow GOP Reps. Joe Wilson, James Moylan, Bill Posey, Pat Fallon, Chris Smith, Ashley Hinson, Carlos Gimenez, Scott DesJarlais, John Moolenaar, Lance Gooden, Brett Guthrie, Dale Strong, Julia Letlow, Robert Aderholt and Brad Wenstrup also signed the letter .
The DOE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.