We urge the Senate to Complete New START this year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 9, 2010
CONTACT:
Bridget Nolan , Outreach Coordinator, 202.546.0795, ext. 2113, bnolan@clw.org

Washington, D.C.– Council for a Livable World today criticized the call from many Republican leaders to delay the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) until next year.

While there are still a number of other critical issues to be dealt with before the end of the year, 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 is paid 365 days a year and with previous arms control treaties only taking a matter of days, Senators could stay and vote on New START with plenty of time left to enjoy their holidays.�

Isaacs added: “All substantive concerns and questions have been addressed and New START enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support; the time is now to bring New START to the floor.�

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 369 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 by continuing to delay consideration of this important treaty.�

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.�