Council for a Livable World Welcomes New START Debate; Urges Completion This Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2010
CONTACT:
Bridget Nolan , Outreach Coordinator, 202.546.0795, ext. 2113, bnolan@clw.org

Washington, D.C.– Council for a Livable World today welcomed the beginning of the long-awaited debate on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and urged the Senate to remain in session until it completes action on the treaty.

While there are still a number of other critical issues to be dealt with before the end of the year, including tax cuts and appropriations, the Senate should also have a final vote on New START before leaving town.

“Important national security issues, like New START, should not fall by the wayside on account of the Christmas holiday,� said John Isaacs, Executive Director of the Council. “The Senate can meet as many as 14 more days before adjournment while still recessing for Christmas and New Years.

As Majority Leader Harry Reid stated yesterday: There’s still Congress after Christmas. The 111th Congress officially ends on January 4.

Isaacs added:“The treaty enjoys widespread bipartisan support of virtually all former high level national security officials and of both active duty and retired military.�

New START requires modest reductions in the deployed strategic nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia and restores an essential means of monitoring and verifying each side’s nuclear forces that has been absent since the START I treaty expired on December 5, 2009.

“As of today, it has been 375 days and counting since START I expired and with it our on-site monitoring and verification presence in Russia,� said Kingston Reif, Director of Non Proliferation at the Council.“We’re putting our national security at risk if we delay ratification of this important treaty into next year.�

Reif added,“It’s encouraging that a growing number of Republican Senators are warming to a vote on the treaty before the end of the year. To do otherwise would be to deny the U.S. military an important tool it says it needs.�