FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2010
CONTACT: Bridget Nolan , Outreach Coordinator, 202.546.0795, ext. 2113, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C.â€“ 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.
â€œImportant national security issues, like New START, should not fall by the wayside on account of the Christmas holiday,â€� said John Isaacs, Executive Director of the Council. â€œThe 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: Thereâ€™s still Congress after Christmas. The 111th Congress officially ends on January 4.
Isaacs added:â€œThe treaty enjoys widespread bipartisan support of virtually all former high level national security officials and of both active duty and retired military.â€�
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 sideâ€™s nuclear forces that has been absent since the START I treaty expired on December 5, 2009.
â€œAs 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,â€� said Kingston Reif, Director of Non Proliferation at the Council.â€œWeâ€™re putting our national security at risk if we delay ratification of this important treaty into next year.â€�
Reif added,â€œItâ€™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.â€�