News / USA

    Leading Republican Senators Voice Opposition to START Treaty

    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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora