Soon after coming to the floor this morning, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) explained his opposition to the New START treaty. He criticized the Obama administration’s rush to ratify, calling it part of a “pattern of rushing to a policy judgment.” Debate, he said, has been “truncated” by Democrats in order to meet “another arbitrary deadline” and the “wish list” of their “liberal base.”
“A decision of this magnitude should not be decided under the pressure of a deadline,” McConnell said. “The American people don’t want us to squeeze our most important work into the final days of a session. They want us to take the time we need to make informed, responsible decisions. The Senate can do better than to have the consideration of a treaty interrupted by a series of controversial political items.”
“So leaving aside for a moment any substantive concerns, and we have many, this is reason enough to delay a vote. No senator should be forced to make decisions like this so we can tick off another item on someone’s political check list before the end of the year.”
“Yet looking back over the past two years, it becomes apparent why the administration would attempt to rush this treaty,” McConnell continued. “And it’s in this context that we discover another important reason to oppose it. I’m referring, of course, to the administration’s pattern of rushing to a policy judgment, and then subsequently studying the problem that the policy decision was intended to address, a pattern that again and again created more problems and complications than we started out with.”
“It is deeply troubling to think that a legislative body charged with the solemn responsibility of advice and consent would be deprived of this role because it would inconvenience our negotiating partners,” McConnell concluded.