GOP Senators-Elect: Don't START Without Us

More

Adding to the chorus of GOP voices who say there is no time in this ever-shortening lame-duck session to ratify Obama's New START arms-reduction treaty with Russia, 10 of the incoming Republican senators-elect asked the president today not to push ahead until they get sworn in.

From a letter, sent today by the senators-to-be:

On Election Day we were elected to represent the constituents of our respective states in the Senate.  One of the most important tasks of the 112th Congress will be to carefully consider measures that protect the national security of the United States.  And few matters will more directly impact our security than arms control agreements like New START that would dramatically reduce the U.S. nuclear deterrent in a strategic environment that is becoming ever more perilous.
 
Article I of the Constitution grants the Senate the exclusive responsibility of giving advice and consent to the President on treaties.  Out of respect for our states' voters, we believe it would be improper for the Senate to consider the New START Treaty or any other treaty in a lame duck session prior to January 3, 2011.  Indeed, no bilateral strategic arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union or Russia has ever been ratified during a lame duck session.
 
Additionally we are hopeful to have the opportunity, along with the full Senate, to review the treaty's negotiating record, which is a critically important component in putting the pact in full context.

The signers are: John Boozman (AR), Rob Portman (OH), Jerry Moran (KS), Mike Lee (UT), Ron Johnson (WI), John Hoeven (ND), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Rand Paul (KY), Marco Rubio (FL).

Absent form the list is Illinois' Mark Kirk, who has served as a naval intelligence officer and whom the Obama administration has lobbied on START.

And on the other side, the administration is quite unlikely to assent to this request, having faced it down before. Their argument that START should get ratified now: It's been on the table for months, and inspections of Russian nukes won't resume until the Senate approves it, plus it makes Obama look bad to the Russians and could set back improved relations if the Senate holds it up any longer.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

This Short Film Skewers Hollywood, Probably Predicts Disney's Next Hit

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?


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

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.

Video

The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In