In the START treaty, there in the preamble, is the potential for an opt-out by Russia, should the U.S. develop the four stage missile defense program that our Pentagon wants to develop. Senator Jon Kyle is the point man on the treaty ratification for Republicans as the vote approaches. He has some concerns about the language that have not been addressed or discussed.
Democrats want to make Sen Jon Kyl of Arizona the whipping boy for voicing concern about the legitimate restraints in the treaty necessary towards Russia. He wisely wants some time and debate on this before the vote on ratification. Kyl has been working with the administration for quite some time and understands the issue well. The treaty has been on the table since last Spring. All of a sudden there is fake urgency on the signing. Kyl rightly states that Sen Reid, as Majority Leader, can bring up the vote on the ratification at any time. Reid has chosen to put social issue votes and special interests ahead of the treaty.
Kyl wants the chance for the GOP to offer amendments on the treaty vote. We have the sad truth in place that this administration slaps together documents and insists on votes whether members of Congress have had time for due diligence in reading and understanding the documents or not. It is all about political points for the Democrats, for the next election. This administration has no history of working with the GOP in good faith on any issue. It appears as though all that matters is forcing votes on their agenda regardless of the consequences.
So, the Democrats and the administration are making a concerted effort to work around Kyl, who is the senior Republican with expertise in these matters. The push is on to find some Republicans willing to announce support and intention to vote for the ratification. Much fanfare is being given by Democrats of the Republicans now longer in office who support the treaty.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has reserved judgment on how she will vote until the resolution comes to the floor, said it could make a difference if Obama could get George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, both former presidents, to appear with him in support of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START.
Neither Bush has taken a public position on the pact, which would continue trends they established with the original START agreement signed in 1991 by the elder Bush and the Moscow Treaty approved by the younger Bush in 2002.
The New START treaty continues most verification procedures established in the 1991 agreement that ended last December while adding new ones; it also lowers slightly to 1,550 the deployed warheads allowed under the 2002 pact, which were 1,700 to 2,200.
It is the adjustments that are of concern to Republicans. While it is good for the U.S. to trust but verify as it deals with Russia and nuclear weapons, it is also good for both Democrats and Republicans to be on the same page as the ratification is worked out. Anyone with questions deserves answers to them before a vote is taken.