August 26, 2020

Menendez and Smith Statement on the Costs of Allowing the New START Treaty to Expire

WASHINGTON Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a new report regarding the potential costs of expanding U.S. strategic nuclear forces if the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) Expires:

“CBO’s nonpartisan report is clear: The Trump administration’s unwillingness to continue the decades of strategic arms control by failing to extend the New START Treaty is driving the United States toward a dangerous arms race, which we cannot afford. While this report only begins to account for the costs of the Administration’s preposterous claims that we can ‘spend the adversary into oblivion,’ it is further proof of why New START is essential to U.S. and international security.

“If the United States lets the New START Treaty expire, Russia, which is already ahead of America’s nuclear modernization program, would use a U.S. exit from the New START Treaty to quickly expand its arsenal without any legal constraints for the first time in 50 years.

“Extending the New START Treaty for a full five years is clearly the right financial and national security choice. America cannot afford a costly and dangerous nuclear arms race, particularly in the middle of our current financial, political, and health crises. We again call on the Trump Administration to extend the New START Treaty today.”

The full CBO report can be found here.

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