START needs Congressional action

This week I’m going to have a series of posts on Healthcare and Healthcare Reform. Tell your friends to join the conversion. I should have my first post in this series up early this evening.

Now, START needs Congress to act but the Senate has been stuck.

From TP:

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) has been the leading Senate Republican urging the upper chamber of Congress to ratify the New START arms control treaty with Russia. However, the Republican obstructionism that has become so routine throughout the past two years of President Obama’s tenure is standing in the way. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has been the face of the GOP hamstringing and despite the fact that this non-controversial treaty — one that closely mirrors the one President Reagan signed with the Soviet Union — has been thoroughly debated in the Senate for nearly a year, Kyl told the New York Times, “If they try to jam us [in the lame-duck session], if they try to bring this up the week before Christmas, it’ll be defeated.”

Lugar has been reluctant to criticize his colleagues’ obstruction. When asked last week if they were just playing politics, Lugar said, “I am not ascribing motivations to anybody.” But other Republicans don’t seem to be holding back. Brent Scowcroft served as national security adviser to two Republican presidents and has been pleading with Congress to ratify New START. Profiling Lugar’s awkward position vis-a-vis other Senate Republicans on this issue, Politico reports today that Scrowcroft isn’t being as diplomatic as Lugar on the GOP’s incentive for holding up START:

In an attempt to rally bipartisan support for the treaty, the White House has enlisted the kind of GOP foreign policy wise men that Lugar exemplifies – among them former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and James A. Baker. But they have had no success with members of their own party, and it has left them scratching their heads over the source of the GOP opposition.

“It’s not clear to me what it is,” said Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush who noted that this START treaty is not very different from previous ones negotiated and ratified under Republican presidents. “I’ve got to think that it’s the increasingly partisan nature and the desire for the president not to have a foreign policy victory.”


0 Responses

  1. Since Kyl is one of my senators (not with my vote) I watch his voting record closely. He has been consistently one of the most conservative partison politicians in the Senate. He was one of 2 who voted against the last minimum wage increase and can be relied on almost 100% to vote against any democratic bill and for any republican bill.

    In short, he is the kind of politician that is ruining the country. Now he has decided to play politics with our safety. I’m hopeful we can vote him out in 2012.

  2. I don’t understand why the Republicans who engage in this destructive obstructionism do not seem to realize that they’re not just denying President Obama a ‘foreign policy victory’ (I think that term is a stretch in this case; a new START treaty would really just be a continuation of existing policy), but they are causing serious damage to the United States within the global community.
    Do they think that people don’t realize who’s really causing the trouble? Do they think that other nations are going to want to work with them if they do manage to elect a Republican president in 2012 (good luck with that)? Their tactics have become sickening and reprehensible; they are not the actions of men and women who would form a trustworthy and reliable administration. It is only too clear that the only item on their agenda is self-interest; I can’t see Russia, China, Pakistan or other countries where relations are sensitive being confident in partnering with the U.S. as long as this state of affairs exists. D*mned shame…

  3. It helps them get re-elected. Some don’t want anything to get thru congress. Wall Street is just fine with the rules as they are. Big Oil is plenty happy. So, many congressman are being elected to do nothing and to make sure that nothing gets done.

    Thanks for your comments.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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