John and I visited the online pages of The Hill today to make the case for New START in 2010. Here’s the trailer:
The heavy breathing from Republicans over a nuclear treaty signed by a Democratic president contrasts sharply with their ho-hum acceptance of treaties signed by GOP Presidents, including the Treaty of Moscow signed by George W. Bush that had zero verification provisions. And the START I treaty signed by George H.W. Bush was approved by an overwhelming 93-6 vote on October 1, 1992, one month before the 1992 presidential election.
In recent days there appear to be signs that a growing number of Republicans are warming to voting on New START before the end of the year. As Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) stated on Tuesday, “I believe that we could move forward with the START treaty and satisfy Senator Kyl’s concerns and mine about missile defense and others.”
This is as it should be. The Senate is expected to remain in session for at least another two weeks, which is more than enough time to consider the treaty. The 1991 START I treaty required five days of debate, while the 2002 Moscow Treaty only took two days. The treaty has been extensively reviewed: More than 20 hearings and briefings have been held and the administration has answered 900 questions from Senators. There is no substantive reason why the Senate shouldn’t take up and approve the treaty before the end of the year. To do otherwise would be to deny the U.S. military an important tool it says it needs.