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Risch, Cotton, Colleagues: U.S. Should Withdraw from New Start Treaty

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), today introduced the No START Treaty Act, legislation formally accusing Russia of breaching the New START arms control treaty and declaring America should withdraw. The bill also plans to strengthen U.S nuclear forces while placing limits on future arms control negotiations.

 “The Biden Administration’s decision to extend the New START Treaty with Russia constrained the United States, failed to make America and its allies safer, left the Chinese free to undertake a breathtaking buildup of strategic nuclear weapons systems, and allowed Russia to threaten to use its massive arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine,” said Risch. “Our legislation will correct these mistakes by conditioning future arms control agreements with Russia to include all classes of nuclear weapons as well as China. We must be prepared for a strategic environment in which the United States faces two nuclear peers – China and Russia.”

 “The New START Treaty handcuffed America while Vladimir Putin has taken advantage of the treaty’s flaws for years. President Biden should never have extended this treaty that has only made Russia and China stronger and America weaker. We should withdraw from the treaty and bolster our nuclear forces,” said Cotton.

 “Treaties aren’t effective when one party lies and cheats. We’ve seen evidence for the last decade that Russia is no longer honoring its obligations under the New START Treaty. It is irresponsible and dangerous for America to unilaterally limit itself in the face of growing hostility abroad, including from the Chinese Communist Party,” said Rubio.

 The No START Treaty Act would:

  • Express the sense of Congress that Russia is in material breach of the New START Treaty; the United States should withdraw from the New START Treaty; and the United States should take steps to strengthen its nuclear forces.
  • Require an assessment of the sufficiency of current and planned U.S. nuclear forces and an implementation plan to address any deficiencies in the U.S. nuclear deterrent.
  • Require any future arms control agreements with Russia that place numerical limitations on the size of the U.S. and Russian arsenals to limit all of Russia’s nuclear forces (to include its non-strategic nuclear weapons) and similarly restrict the nuclear arsenal of China.
  • Prohibit unilateral reductions and prohibit the bargaining away of U.S. missile defenses.
  • Prohibit the use of funds to implement the New START Treaty or any future arms control agreement unless it meets the bill's required stipulations.

 Text of the legislation can be found here.