Where START stands

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a vote on the New START Treaty on Tuesday, August 3 or Wednesday, August 4. This treaty would reduce the number of nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russia.

A treaty only requires a majority vote in committee, but it requires a two-thirds vote on the Senate floor. With all the committee Democrats and Sen. Dick Lugar (IN) supporting the treaty, the committee already has the votes to approve the treaty. However, if Lugar is the only Republican on the committee supporting START, final ratification is unlikely. Defeat of START would likely be the end of nuclear arms reductions for many years.
Five Republicans on the committee are undecided:

What to Do

If you live in Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wyoming:

  • email or fax your senator listed above on the Foreign Relations Committee urging your Senator to vote “yes” on the New START Treaty in committee
  • write letters-to-the-editor urging those five senators to support the treaty

If you live in another state, contact your Senators (Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121) urging them to vote "yes" on the New START Treaty on the Senate Floor.


Floor Schedule. Once the Foreign Relations Committee reports out
the treaty it ill come to the full Senate for the final vote. Committee
chair John Kerry (MA), ranking member Lugar, and the administration
agree that they would like to bring the treaty to a vote before the
August recess. However, they also agree that they will not bring the
treaty to a vote unless they have 67 firm “yes” votes.
Vote Count.
All Democrats (including the new West Virginia senator) are expected to
support the treaty, as well as Senator Lugar and Sen. Bernie Sanders
(I-VT), for a total of 59 votes. That means seven moderate Republicans
plus Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) are needed for ratification. The
Republican senators who have declared their opposition to the treaty are
Sens. Jim DeMint (SC) and Jim Inhofe (OK).

A Different View. The Heritage Foundation recently created a new advocacy organization, Heritage Action, one of whose priorities is to defeat START. Some conservative leaders, most notably former Gov. Mitt Romney, have also criticized the treaty.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)