Obama ‘confident’ New START will receive a vote this year, Kyl not so sure
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he had discussed holding a vote on the New START treaty with Russia this year with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and that he expected this to happen. "I confident that we are going to be able to get the START treaty on the floor, debated and completed ...
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he had discussed holding a vote on the New START treaty with Russia this year with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and that he expected this to happen.
"I confident that we are going to be able to get the START treaty on the floor, debated and completed before we break for the holidays," Obama said after his bilateral meeting today with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski. "That’s not linked to taxes; that’s something that on its own merits is supposed to get done, needs to get done."
As of last Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told The Cable that a deal with Republicans to move the treaty this month was close at hand. But if the Senate GOP leader on this issue, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), is close to striking a deal, he is keeping that information to himself.
"There’s a lot going on," Kyl told reporters after a meeting Wednesday with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). "We’re trying to make sure that there is adequate time for each of the things that have to be done. And senators don’t want to feel like they’re being cheated of that adequacy of time. They don’t want to be jammed."
Kyl had linked the New START vote to a resolution of the tax debate last week, saying that debate on New START can’t go forward until the tax issue was resolved. Kyl has also said that the Senate needs at least two weeks to work on the treaty and address GOP senators’ concerns about nuclear modernization, missile defense, and verification.
Meanwhile, virtually everybody who hasn’t yet weighed in on the treaty is now chiming in. A group of GOP House members (who can’t vote on the pact) sent a letter on Tuesday calling for the treaty to be delayed until next year.
Now, The Cable has learned that House Democrats, led by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), have sent their own letter calling for swift ratification.
Former President George H.W. Bush issued a one line statement Wednesday in support of the treaty. But he declined to say that the treaty should be ratified this year, similar to the stance former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took Tuesday.
"I urge the United States Senate to ratify the START treaty," Bush 41’s statement read.