WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are calling on President Barack Obama to explain potential cuts of as much as 80 percent in the U.S. nuclear force.

The lawmakers, led by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon, sent a letter to Obama questioning the wisdom of reducing deployed strategic warheads as other nations increase their stockpiles and Iran pursues a disputed nuclear program. Thirty-four lawmakers signed the letter.

The Associated Press reported this week that the administration is weighing several options for new reductions from the current limit of 1,550, cutting to around 1,000 to 1,100, 700 to 800, or 300 to 400.

Further cuts would be consistent with Obama's 2009 promise to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons and the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, which called for a Defense Department review.