Will Republicans Obstruct START Treaty?
President Obama says Republicans standing in the way of a nuclear treaty with Russia are abandoning Ronald Regan’s tenet, “Trust, but verify.”
The Senate’s GOP leader accused his Democratic counterparts of wasting Congress’ lame-duck session on issues from gays in the military to environment regulations. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., didn’t mention Obama’s push to ratify the new START weapons treaty with Russia, but said extending expiring Bush-era tax cuts needed to be the top priority.
Republicans Dick Lugar, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Jim Baker and George Schultz support it, and a new Congress would have to start over in January.
Without ratification, Russia may be less cooperative in enforcing strong sanctions on Iran, securing loose nuclear material from terrorists or helping the U.S. equip troops in Afghanistan, Obama said. He said no agreement with Russia meant no U.S. inspectors watching over one of the world’s biggest nuclear arsenals.
“Those who would block this treaty are breaking President Reagan’s rule — they want to trust, but not verify,” Obama said.
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