September 16, 2010

Chairman Kerry: New START Wins Bipartisan Backing in Key Committee Vote

Overcoming partisan divides, Committee approves Treaty 14-4

Washington, DC – Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution of advice and consent to ratification of New START with 3 Republicans joining 11 Democrats, continuing a tradition of bipartisan support for strategic arms agreements that spans four administrations.

After the vote, Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) released the following statement:

“This is an historic vote that renews the bipartisan tradition that’s vital in tackling the grave threat posed by nuclear weapons.  This bipartisan vote sends an important signal that even in the most partisan, polarized season, ratifying this treaty is not a matter of politics, it’s a national security imperative.

“The full Senate must quickly pass the resolution because the stakes are enormous.  When we ratify this treaty, we limit Russia’s nuclear arsenal, regain the ability to inspect their nuclear forces, and redouble international support for our nonproliferation efforts to counter the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue nations like Iran and North Korea.

“From the beginning, the Committee’s goal was to develop a resolution that could enjoy bipartisan support.  I thank Senator Lugar, who has been a terrific partner in this process, for his work in helping to build consensus.  I would also like to thank the members of the Committee for participating in this lengthy and thorough process.

“The Foreign Relations Committee has bridged the partisan divide and come together in the national interest. It is time for the Senate to do the same.”

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