News / USA

President Obama Challenges Republicans to Approve START Treaty

Barack Obama delivers his weekly address, 20 Nov 2010
Barack Obama delivers his weekly address, 20 Nov 2010
TEXT SIZE - +
Alex Villarreal

U.S. President Barack Obama is urging senators to approve a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia before the end of the year. The president used his weekly radio and Internet address to step up criticism of Senate Republicans working to delay the vote.

President Obama says the agreement to cut the U.S. and Russia's deployed nuclear arsenals by 30 percent is "fundamental" to U.S. national security.

Delivering his weekly address from a NATO summit in Portugal, Mr. Obama said failing to pass the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty would be a "dangerous gamble," leaving the U.S. with no way to ensure its security is protected.

"It has already been 11 months since we had inspectors in Russia, and every day that goes by without ratification is a day that we lose confidence in our understanding of Russia's nuclear weapons. If the Senate does not act this year - after six months, 18 hearings, and nearly a thousand questions answered - it would have to start over from scratch in January," he said.

President Obama said Republicans trying to block the vote are going against the rule of the late former President Ronald Reagan, "Trust, but verify."

He said ending the year without a new START treaty could also cost the U.S. Russia's support on other issues.

"Without ratification, we put at risk the coalition that we have built to put pressure on Iran, and the transit routes through Russia that we use to equip our troops in Afghanistan. And without ratification, we risk undoing decades of American leadership on nuclear security and decades of bipartisanship on this issue. Our security and our position in the world are at stake," said the president.

President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the new agreement in April.

Senator Jon Kyl, the Republican negotiator on the issue, has resisted Mr. Obama's efforts to hold the vote on the treaty before the new Congress takes office in January with a stronger Republican presence.

President Obama addressed concerns raised by Kyl and other Republicans, saying the new START treaty will not harm U.S. missile defense efforts and vowing to invest at least $85 billion in efforts to modernize the U.S. nuclear infrastructure over the next 10 years.

Saturday's weekly Republican address focused on domestic issues. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell accused the administration of not doing enough to reduce unemployment, which remains near 10 percent. McConnell urged President Obama to extend tax cuts that expire this year, saying raising taxes will only cost the country more jobs.

"It is time Congress got its priorities straight," he said. "It is time Congress focused on job creation. And that means preventing tax hikes. It is time to set aside the political votes and government spending that the administration and Democratic leaders have put above all other priorities for two years. Time is running out, but it is not too late."

Mr. Obama supports extending the tax cuts only on the first $250,000 a family earns in a year, but McConnell says Americans do not think anyone should have to face higher taxes, especially in the middle of a recession.

Watch weekly Rebublican address:

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid