The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kingston Reif, Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation, 202.546.0795, ext. 2103

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Vote on New START a Win for U.S. National Security


Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non
Proliferation today praised the bipartisan vote by the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee to approve the New START nuclear reductions treaty
by a vote of 14-4 and urged prompt consideration of the treaty by the
full Senate.

Republicans Richard Lugar (R-IN), Bob Corker (R-TN), and Johnny
Isakson (R-GA) joined the 11 Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee to vote in support of the resolution of ratification. The
resolution contains a number of conditions and declarations that clarify
the Committee's interpretation of the treaty.

"In a political climate paralyzed by partisanship on other
issues, this bipartisan vote of approval demonstrates an important
commitment to reducing the dangers posed by nuclear weapons,"
said John Isaacs, Executive Director of the Council.
"The bipartisan support for the treaty in the Committee provides a big
momentum boost that bodes well for approval of the treaty during floor
consideration by the full Senate. Committee Chairman John Kerry and
Ranking Member Richard Lugar should be applauded for their leadership."

Isaacs added: "New START strengthens U.S. national security
because it will promote stability and predictability in the U.S.-Russia
nuclear relationship. For these reasons and many more, the treaty is
unanimously supported by the US military leadership and is backed by
five former secretaries of defense, six former secretaries of state and
seven former heads of the military command in charge of our nuclear
weapons. We are glad that Senators on the Committee listened to their

The pact now moves to the full Senate, where it will await Senate
floor debate and a final vote. The treaty requires 67 votes for

"The full Senate's approval of New START is an urgent national security priority," said Kingston Reif, the Council's Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation.
"The United States has not conducted an on-site inspection of Russia's
nuclear arsenal in over 285 days and counting. The sooner the full
Senate debates and votes to approve the treaty, the sooner U.S.
inspectors can return to Russia and resume monitoring Moscow's still
enormous nuclear arsenal."

Reif added: "Previous arms control agreements between the
U.S. and Russia have been approved by overwhelming margins. The
resolution of ratification passed by the Committee answers the questions
that have been raised about the treaty during the Senate's deliberation
and deserves a similar outpouring of support."

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to enhancing international peace and security in the 21st century. The Center is funded by grants from private foundations and the generosity of thousands of individual donors.