Alexander: “Last-Minute Christmastime Stunt Puts Major Arms-Control Treaty in Jeopardy”

Votes against beginning Senate consideration of treaty

Posted on December 15, 2010

“I’m one United States senator who plans to support the treaty and its ratification – if we continue to debate it thoroughly and air it out, and especially if we deal with nuclear modernization in the correct way.” – Lamar Alexander

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., told reporters at a press conference held today to address the New START Treaty that the Senate Majority Leader’s rush to vote on the treaty is “a last-minute, Christmastime stunt that puts a major arms-control treaty in jeopardy.”

His full statement to reporters follows:

“This schedule is very disappointing. This is a last-minute Christmastime stunt that puts a major arms-control treaty in jeopardy. I’m one United States senator who plans to support the treaty and its ratification – if we continue to debate it thoroughly and air it out, and especially if we deal with nuclear modernization in the correct way.

“But this is not the way to do it. This is not the way to get 67 votes. Bringing it up at the last minute is a reckless way to consider a treaty if it’s important—as I believe it is—to the future of the country.

“This is the Senate, where the majority sets the schedule and we’re in the minority, but let’s remember that this is a Senate that has not voted one Friday in the entire year of 2010. There’s been plenty of time to work on these issues. Yet we have a lame-duck session where the majority seems to be insisting on an encore when there were boos for the concert, bringing up every single issue they can think of.

“It’s cold, the snow’s about to come, we’re going to be meeting late at night, and all of a sudden arrives a 2,000-page [Omnibus] bill—it sounds a lot like last year. And as one senator said, what angered people in the elections this year was not just the health care law, but how it was passed last year—jammed down the throats of the American people.

“We have a 2,000-page spending bill that we need to read and carefully consider before we act on it. We also need to be able to read and debate and carefully consider the New START treaty. Out of respect to the American people, out of respect to our country and the Senate, this is not the way to do it. It’s a reckless disregard for the future of an important treaty that has a major impact on our national security.”

Alexander voted against a motion to proceed to consideration of the New START Treaty this afternoon. That motion passed by a vote of 66-32.

 

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