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Brian Darling on START Vote

The Heritage Foundation’s Brian Darling blogs at The Foundry about support and opposition for the new START, lame duck session voting, the negotiating record, and other related issues. An excerpt:

“The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduling a vote for mid-September on the treaty. Lugar told C-SPAN that “on the 15th and 16th of September we will have a markup of the Treaty in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. My prediction is that the markup will lead to the Senate committee sending to the floor the New START treaty.” The votes are present in the committee to discharge the treaty.

“Democrats plan to pass the treaty in committee and then await possible consideration after the November elections for a vote during the expected lame duck session of Congress before a new Congress is sworn in. When asked by Warren Strobel of McClatchy Newspapers if he believed that the treaty would pass, Lugar responded that ‘I am not predicting anything.’ This treaty does not have the confident support of many in the Senate because of the missile defense issue.

“As Baker Spring has written for The Foundry, New START may increase the possibility of a nuclear exchange with Russia, and the Russians have conditioned support for the treaty on the U.S. agreeing to degrade missile defense capabilities.”

Darling points out the unfortunate fact that Russia got the U.S. to capitulate on missile defense, and even threatened to withdraw from START if we don’t reduce our capabilities. Additionally, Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have requested the negoitating record, and the Obama administration has denied the request.

“Missile defense is going to be a big issue in the debate on the New START treaty, and any prediction as to the possibility of this treaty passing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then the full Senate is premature. Until Senators have a full grasp of the ramifications of the treaty for missile defense.”

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