Sep 16 2010

Risch Rejects New START

Cites National Security Concerns and Unorthodox Process

Washington, DC—U.S. Senator Jim Risch today voted against ratification of the New START Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation.

“It is unfortunate this treaty embraces an outdated 20th century Cold War style of arms control, while ignoring the flexibility needed for the threats America must confront now and in the future,” said Senator Risch. “Under this treaty, the U.S. allows limits on missile defense and conventional prompt global strike, while accepting weakened verification measures. It is unclear what concessions were made by Russia.”

“I am also deeply concerned by the fact that the minority was not allowed to hear from witnesses it requested, access to documents was delayed and questions were rarely answered in a timely matter for thoughtful deliberation. New START is on pace to be one of the fastest arms control treaties ever considered in the Senate—faster than ratification of the 2003 Moscow Treaty, which was significantly shorter and far less complex. Having said that, today’s meeting greatly improved the resolution and I was glad the committee accepted my amendment strengthening the position of the U.S. regarding the modernization of our delivery systems.”

The treaty was ratified by a 14-4 margin. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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NOTE: Below are 3 letters detailing the numerous issues Risch raised on how the consideration of the treaty was carried out.