Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New START Treaty Ratification

Earlier today, the Senate moved in a procedural vote closer to ratification of the New START nuclear weapons reduction treaty.  Eleven Republican Senators joined Democrats in the vote, following the advice of experts of both parties.  Perhaps most persuasive is the endorsement of the treaty by eight former Republican Secretaries of State, including Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, James Baker, Colin Powell, and Condoleeza Rice.

Among GOP Senators on the "nay" side of the vote were Mitch McConnell, John Kyl, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Richard Burr.  These Republicans have raised objections that are not justified in either the text of the treaty or in the long history of negotiations on nuclear weapons quantities and proliferation.  In my opinion, these obstructionists are on the wrong side of the merits of the treaty, and on the wrong side of the politics.

Our country cannot afford two more years of the party of "NO" rejecting good policy and reasonable compromise on legislation that is good for our nation's future.  Government must work for the common good, and cannot be held hostage or treated as a political "game" where passing any legislation is seen as a "victory" for one side or another.  The people deserve politicians who work for the common good, not for campaign sound bites to be used in the next election.

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