Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell told DefenseNews that there’s still hope for a U.S. return to the Open Skies Treaty, which President Trump formally withdrew from.
Given the partisan dynamics of the Senate, it’s unclear the upper chamber could muster the two-thirds majority required to re-ratify the treaty. However, Biden may be able to re-enter the treaty in a way that would not require formal advice and consent from the Senate, according to Alexandra Bell, the senior policy director at the Council for a Livable World.
One path is for Biden to craft an executive agreement requiring simple majority approval in both houses. Parties to the treaty would need to be on board and Congress would also need to approve funds for continued U.S. participation. Trump’s potential scuttling of the planes “might complicate diplomatic options, but the incoming Biden administration will likely make choices about the future of the treaty based on national security considerations, not the Trump team’s ‘salt the earth’ behavior,” Bell said. Read more