Kyl Attempts to Stop START Treaty

In Monday's Washington Post, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wrote an op-ed urging senators to approve New START, the arms control treaty that would once again allow U.S. inspectors access to Russian missile silos, and decrease the number of nuclear weapons held by both countries. The old START treaty expired last December.

"Time is running out for this Congress," they wrote, detailing what's at stake if the Senate doesn't approve of the treaty. "The New START Treaty also deserves prompt ratification. Our national security depends on it," they concluded.

But on Tuesday, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, the crucial Republican vote to ratify the New START Treaty, said he doesn't think the treaty should be voted on in the lame duck session.

"When Majority Leader Harry Reid asked me if I thought the treaty could be considered in the lame duck session, I replied I did not think so given the combination of other work Congress must do and the complex and unresolved issues related to START and modernization," said the senator from Arizona.

Administration officials, frustrated with Kyl's stubbornness, are now uncertain about his motives.

They even sent a team to Arizona to present him with the administration's response to his requests, including the broad outlines of the additional $4 billion offer for modernization, one official said.

According to this administration official, Kyl asked the administration to secure the full 2011 budget request for modernization, to expedite the budget process for 2012, to show him the 2012 budget request before the Senate vote on New START, and to update the long-term plan that was submitted to Congress in May on modernization.

"They asked us for certain things, we worked through the process to give it to them," the administration source said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is waiting for the administration to strike a deal with Kyl before scheduling the debate and vote on New START. Reid's spokesman Jim Manley told The Hill, "Now that the election is over, hopefully the White House and Senate Republicans can reach an agreement that will allow us to ratify the treaty by the end of the year."

Read the full story at Foreign Policy's The Cable

Presented by

Elizabeth Weingarten is an editorial assistant at the New America Foundation. A former Slate editorial assistant, she also previously wrote for and produced the Atlantic's International Channel.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In