President Obama Confident of START Ratification

by Daniel Foster

National Journal reports:

President Obama says passage of the START nuclear arms treaty is “imperative” this year and said he is “confident we should be able to get the votes.”

“We cannot afford to gamble on our ability ot verify Russia’s strategic nuclear arms,” he said, jumping into the White House’s continued offensive to get the treaty through the Senate.

By the bye, the governing treaty expired under President Obama’s watch, with no successor or extension in place. But never you mind, POTUS pulled out some big guns at a meeting on the subject:

He made the comments during a meeting hosted by Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the importance of passing the treaty. Attendees include the president, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and predecessors Madeleine Albright, James Baker, and Henry Kissinger; and Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, among others.

Lugar, the Senate Foreign Relations ranking member, said on Wednesday he believes backers of the New START treaty with Russia have the 67 votes necessary to approve the agreement in the current session – even without the support of the GOP’s most influential negotiator, Sen. Jon Kyl.

Obama has dispatched Biden to spearhead ratification efforts.

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