Entries in New START Treaty (5)


Top Senators on START: 'Believe it Will Pass,' 'Votes Are There'

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., (L) and Richard Lugar, R-Ind. appear on ABC's "This Week." Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate has turned its attention to remaining legislative priorities for the lame-duck session, including continuing debate on ratifying a new arms control treaty with Russia, known as New START.

"I believe it will pass, and I believe there will be a vote," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour in a joint appearance with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

Lugar, a ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, has supported the treaty as well, working with Democrats to get the two-thirds majority of Senate votes required.

"Several Republicans will support it, and I join the chairman in believing that there are the votes there," Lugar said. "The problem is really getting to that final vote."

The Senate rejected an amendment Saturday seeking to remove language from the treaty's preamble, introduced by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who argued the language would restrict the United States' abilities on missile defense.

"There is no restraint, zero, none, no restraint whatsoever on our missile defense capacity," Kerry responded. "Secretary Gates says it. Secretary Clinton says it. The intelligence community says it. All of our military leaders want this treaty." 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


McConnell Says He'll Oppose START Treaty

Photo Courtesy - JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, announced Sunday that he will oppose the new START treaty.

“I've decided that I cannot support the treaty," McConnell said on CNN's State of the Union. "I think the verification provisions are inadequate and I do worry about the missile defense implications of it. The McCain amendment yesterday regarding missile defense was defeated, and I know the administration actually sent a letter up yesterday, indicating they're committed to missile defense. But an equally important question is how do the Russians view missile defense and how do our European allies view missile defense? And I’m concerned about it."

"I think if they'd taken more time with this — rushing it right before Christmas, it strikes me as trying to jam us," he continued. "I think if they'd taken more time — I know the members of the Foreign Relations Committee spent a lot of time on this but the rest of us haven't — and so all of a sudden we're once again trying to rush things right here before Christmas Eve. I think that was not the best way to get the support of people like me.”

McConnell added that the timing of the Senate vote remains up in the air.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


START Picks Up Two Key Republican Votes

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration and Senate Democrats on Friday picked up two important Republican votes for the New START nuclear treaty with Russia when Maine senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins threw their support behind the pact.

The backing of Snowe and Collins, the two moderate GOP lawmakers from Maine, means three Republican senators have now said they will vote for the treaty. Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was the first.

The treaty must receive 67 votes for Senate ratification, so Democrats will need to secure more GOP support to pass the pact.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama & Colin Powell Push for Ratification of the New START Treaty

Photo Courtesy - The White House | Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Wednesday met privately in the Oval Office with General Colin Powell, and afterwards both men pushed for the ratification of the new START treaty with Russia in the Senate. The president first quipped that while he hates to “date him,” Mr. Powell has been involved with just about every arms-control treaty since the Reagan administration.

“He understands that a world without binding U.S.-Russia arms-control treaties is a more dangerous world,” Obama said. “In the absence of START, without the new START treaty being ratified by the Senate, we do not have a verification mechanism to ensure that we know what the Russians are doing, and they don't know what we're doing. And when you have uncertainty in the area of nuclear weapons, that's a much more dangerous world to live in."
The president said that the relationship and trust built from the new START treaty spill over into other national security issues important to America. “Russia has cooperated with us on critical issues to our national security like Iran sanctions, transit to supply our troops in Afghanistan, working on securing loose nuclear materials,” he said.

General Powell said he fully supports this treaty and hopes the Senate will ratify it as soon as possible. “New START is important because it continues this process, and it's especially important because at the end of last year we lost the verification system that we had under START I,” Powell said. “And this is the first time in all these years where we don't have these procedures in place. So we're not sure exactly what's going on within the Russian Federation. They're not exactly sure what's going on in the United States of America.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Leaders Opposed to START 'Want to Trust but Not Verify,' Obama Says

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama stressed the importance of ratifying the new START treaty, calling the issue "fundamental" to America's national security. 

Noting that the United States and Russia are the two countries with over 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons, the president said that the treaty would "ensure that our national security is protected" while allowing the U.S. to track and verify Russia's nuclear arsenal.  The new START would also cut the number of nuclear weapons that both the U.S. and Russia can deploy, the president said.

Obama called for Senators to act quickly on the matter saying that failure to ratify the treaty would mean the U.S. would lose its nuclear inspectors in Russia, putting American troops at further risk.

Finally, President Obama asked that leaders of both parties stop bickering and unite in the name of our national security.

"The choice is clear:  a failure to ratify new START would be a dangerous gamble with America's national security, setting back our understanding of Russia's nuclear weapons, as well as our leadership in the world.  That is not what the American people sent us to Washington to do."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio