Senate Votes on START Treaty in Rare Sunday Session

December 19, 2010

by Diane W. Collins


Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Support Risch Amndt 4839, START Treaty


Today the Senate is scheduled to vote on the START Treaty with Russia during a rare Sunday session. The vote is to take place a 3 pm, EST


Yesterday, Sen. John McCain's amendment to the Treaty dealing with missile defense was defeated. Today Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) has Amendment 4839 on the floor. Sen. Risch wishes to change the language of the treaty's preamble to include "tactical weapons." He states that in today's world "tactical weapons" present the greatest threat in the use and delivery of nuclear weapons. A change in tactics has increased the importance of the "short range" or tactical capability. The START Treaty in its current form (being presented for ratification) does not deal with "tactical" weapons. Sen. Risch gave an excellent presentation of his Amendment which was followed by Sen. Jon Kyl's support and review.


It is apparent that the START Treaty in its current form has become more of a political statement for the Obama Administration than a protection of the American people. President Obama constantly reminds me of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the appeasement foreign policy he embraced... sorry, it is the historian in me. Conservatives should insist on the passage of the Risch Amendment. More on this after the 3 pm, EST vote.


UPDATE: 12-19 Risch Amendment 4839 fails 32 to 60. In addition to the Daily Briefs section of our web site catch our moment-by-moment coverage of significant events on Twitter.


UPDATE: 12-21 START Treaty cloture vote succeeds in Senate, 67 to 28. Debate ends. Vote to ratify expected Wednesday. Republicans who broke rank and voted for cloture are Alexander, Corker (TN), Bennett (UT) Brown (MA), Collins, Snowe (ME), Isakson (GA), Lugar (IN), Murkowski (AK) Voinovich (OH). More amendments are coming to the floor per Sen. Kerry and Sen. Kyl. These include 4864, 4892, 4860, 4893 by Sen. Kyl; 4878, 4879 by Sen. Risch; 4900 by Sen. McCain; 4855 by Sen. Ensign. Sen. Kerry stated some may be accepted, but roll call votes not likely.


UPDATE: 12-22 Amendments accepted by the Senate are few. They include Kyl Amndt 4892 pertaining to modernization as modified (twice), it is a side agreement and not considered part of the Treaty; Unclear on McCain-Lieberman-Corker Amndt, believe there was an objection. We'll check the Congressional Record for clarification.


UPDATE: 12-22 START Treaty is ratified by Senate, final vote 71 to 26.


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