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
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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid