Senate Begins Hearings on New START

By Collina, Tom Z. | Arms Control Today, June 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Senate Begins Hearings on New START


Collina, Tom Z., Arms Control Today


Seeking Senate approval by year's end, the White House transmitted the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and related documentation to the Senate May 13. On April 29, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began a series of hearings on the treaty with current and former administration officials, all of whom supported the pact.

In the opening round of the hearings, Democratic committee members and the ranking Republican, Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.), expressed support for the treaty, as did former officials from the Nixon, Ford, and George H.W. Bush administrations. Republican senators expressed concerns about the potential impact of New START on U.S. ballistic missile defense programs and about the adequacy of proposed investments in the U.S. nuclear stockpile, but stopped short of opposing the treaty.

Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said at a May 18 hearing he was "confident" that the Senate could reach a bipartisan consensus on the treaty, "just as we did on START I and the Moscow Treaty." The Senate approved START I in 1992 by a vote of 93-6 and endorsed the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), also known as the Moscow Treaty, in 2003, 95-0.

A congressional aide told reporters May 13 that Kerry intended to complete hearings "in time for the Senate to take up the treaty before the August recess, if it so chooses." But the staffer said, "[W]hen it actually gets to the floor is something for the leadership on both sides of the aisle to work out."

President Barack Obama called Russian President Dmitry Medvedev May 13 to inform him that New START was being sent to the Senate, according to a May 13 White House statement. The two leaders "stressed the importance of completing the ratification process in both countries as soon as possible," the statement said. Medvedev sent New START to the Russian Duma May 28.

The two governments issued a separate joint statement May 13 that said New START, "in effect, marks the final end of the 'Cold War' period" and that they expect the new treaty to "pave the way for an increasingly productive and mutually beneficial partnership" between them.

Treaty Transmitted

The treaty package sent to the Senate included a letter of transmittal from Obama to the Senate; a letter of submittal from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Obama; the text of the treaty; the protocol and its annexes; a detailed report prepared by the Department of State analyzing each provision of the treaty known as the "article-by-article analysis;" and the unilateral statements issued by each side at the time of signature, which are not subject to advice and consent. In addition, the administration submitted a report required by section 1251 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2010, which calls for a report on the plan to "enhance the safety, security and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile of the United States, modernize the nuclear weapons complex, and maintain the delivery platforms for nuclear weapons." Although the report is classified, the White House on May 13 released an unclassified summary.

Over the next decade, the summary says, the administration plans to invest "$80 billion to sustain and modernize the nuclear weapons complex," in addition to "well over $100 billion in nuclear delivery systems to sustain existing capabilities and modernize some strategic systems." According to administration budget projections, funding for the nuclear weapons stockpile and infrastructure will rise from $6.4 billion in fiscal year 2010 to $9.0 billion in 2018, if approved by Congress.

Hearings Get Underway

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee began its hearings on New START before the treaty was formally transmitted, receiving testimony April 29 from James Schlesinger, a former secretary of defense and of energy, and former Secretary of Defense William Perry.

In his opening statement, Lugar said he supported the treaty.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Senate Begins Hearings on New START
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?