National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:  Rob Andrews
Date: May 18, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ANDREWS. I think I have finally found the content of the secret agreement between the President and the Russians we keep hearing about. I want to read you what I have heard:

My goal is the total elimination of nuclear weapons. If we can get these fellows, the Russians, back to the table and get them to start down that road of mutual reduction, then they might find out what common sense it would mean to eliminate them.

These are the secret words that were said. But they weren't said by Barack Obama. They were said by Ronald Reagan in 1983.

The careful elimination of nuclear weapons has been a bipartisan and wise goal of this country for three decades. We have the capability to destroy the world 24 times over. We are rationally and systematically negotiating with Russia to try to reduce the risk of accident, theft, or rogue-state behavior while maintaining our sacred sovereign duty to defend ourselves at all times.

This amendment interferes with that wise and bipartisan process. It sends this President, or any President, into negotiations with a set of preconceived notions which limit his or her ability to make the best deal on behalf of the United States--a deal which, of course, would have to be ratified by the United States Senate if it were to make material changes in the START agreement.

From Reagan through Bush through Clinton through George W. Bush and now through President Obama, a wise bipartisan plan to protect our country but reduce the risk of nuclear holocaust. This amendment stands in the way of that wise bipartisan tradition--and it should be defeated.

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