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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LARSEN of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to ask my colleagues to oppose this amendment. The amendment puts constraints that would recklessly weaken our national security by preventing nuclear reductions that the U.S. and Russia have already agreed to. The provision would de facto prevent any reduction in the number of nuclear delivery vehicles because Russia is already below the New START limits and does not need to make further reductions to comply with the treaty. Thus, it would essentially require Russia to build up its arsenal to allow the U.S. to implement its New START obligations. In other words, it would fully stop the implementation of the mutually agreed upon treaty in its tracks. This is highly destabilizing.

It would also risk terminating the treaty if the U.S. cannot comply with its obligations. Even during the Cold War, the U.S. negotiated with Russia to limit the number of nuclear weapons. Without New START, the U.S. would lose all verification rights, thereby losing insight into Russia's nuclear arsenal. These limitations would require the U.S. to maintain the current numbers of nuclear delivery vehicles and placing artificial limits on our arsenal and make reductions subject to Russian actions, in effect, outsourcing national security to Russia.

Mr. Chairman, I would ask my colleagues to consider these facts when they consider voting on this amendment. I would ask my colleagues to oppose this amendment.

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Mr. LARSEN of Washington. I would just ask my colleagues to oppose this amendment. We would ask our colleagues here in the House to oppose it.

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