News / USA

Leading Republican Senators Voice Opposition to START Treaty

William Ide

Leading Republican lawmakers in the U.S. Senate voiced opposition on Sunday to a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia, raising doubts that the accord might not be ratified during the final days of the current Congress.  But Vice President Joe Biden and leading Democratic lawmakers say they are confident the Senate will ratify the agreement before the end of the year.  

A vote in the U.S. Senate on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START accord, is expected within days and lawmakers held a rare session on Sunday to debate the treaty's passage.

Some leading Republican lawmakers have voiced opposition to the pact.  Republican support is needed to garner the 67 votes necessary for ratification in the 100 member Senate.

Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told CBS television's Face the Nation program that if the Obama administration wants to ratify the accord, it should think about starting over during the next session of Congress in January.

"We still haven't funded the government.  We haven't had a serious debate on START.  We've been fighting a multiple front war to try to do every special interest group's bidding in the lame-duck session.  That's not a way to ratify a treaty that has importance to the country," he said.

Before his comments on Sunday, Graham had been considered likely to support the treaty.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, voiced concern on CNN's State of the  Union  program, saying the treaty would limit U.S. missile defense options.  He said that trying to ram the treaty through the Senate before the Christmas holiday recess was not a way to win support from him and other Republican lawmakers.

How many Republicans McConnell might be able to sway to vote against the treaty is unclear.

President Barack Obama is urging the Senate to ratify the New START treaty with Russia before the end of the legislative session, saying that Senate approval of the accord is an urgent national priority.

Vice President Joe Biden told NBC television's Meet the Press program that he believes there is enough support to ratify the pact. "Every former Republican secretary of defense, secretary of state, national security advisor and head of Strategic Command says this is essential for U.S. security," he said.

Speaking on CBS television's Face the Nation program, Michigan Democrat Senator Carl Levin said Republican concerns about missile defense are an attempt to create an argument where none exists. "The most important thing here is that our top military leadership strongly support the START treaty and says there are no restrictions, no limitations whatsoever on missile defense," he saidl.

The New START treaty was signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April.  If ratified, it would limit the United States and Russia to roughly 1,500 deployed long-range nuclear warheads each, and 700 delivery systems such as intercontinental ballistic missiles and heavy bombers.

The New START Treaty still needs to be ratified by the Russian Parliament, something experts say will likely happen.

You May Like

Video 2nd American Reportedly Killed in Syria

Minnesota television report says Abdirahman Muhumed left area to fight for Islamic State militants More

WHO Fears Ebola Outbreak Could Infect 20,000 People

World Health Organization says outbreak 'continues to accelerate' but that most cases are concentrated in a few local areas More

Angelina Jolie Marries Brad Pitt

Actors wed in small private ceremony Saturday in France More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid