Senator condemns Republicans for playing politics with national security
Following today's vote to ratify the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in the Senate, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill praised her colleagues for setting aside politics to pass a treaty that is critical to the national security of the United States. The treaty, which passed with a vote of 71-26, will enable the United States to verify Russia's stockpile of nuclear weapons, protect against nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists and further protect against proliferation of nuclear weapons to dangerous states.
McCaskill spoke out earlier this month when her Republicans colleagues refused to debate the treaty as part of their effort to help secure an extension of tax cuts for millionaires. Despite the fact that the Senate had the treaty available to consider for eight months and held numerous hearings and briefings for senators, Republicans also tried to prevent the treaty from passing by claiming they did not have enough time to consider the measure.
Today, McCaskill made the following statement on the ratification of the treaty:
"The new START treaty is a top priority for our national security. Not only will this treaty help protect America against nuclear terrorism, it also sends a strong signal to the international community that we take nuclear security seriously and allows us to increase pressure on countries with dangerous nuclear ambitions, such as North Korea and Iran," McCaskill said.
The new START treaty is supported by the U.S. military. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael G. Mullen, has said the treaty is vital to U.S. national security because it will reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism and stop the broader spread of nuclear weapons. The treaty also has the endorsement of all five living former secretaries of state, five former secretaries of defense, nine former national security advisors and presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush.