Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R., Mich.) releases this statement in response to President Obama’s calls for a vote on ratification of New START during the lame duck. Note Hoekstra’s mention of expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act, which could be one of the 112th’s early battles:
“President Obama should have learned by now that when his administration rushes to force something through Congress, it does not work out well in the end. The president rushed to close Gitmo and he failed. He rushed to conduct civilian trials of Gitmo detainees, and the Ghailani ruling left him with another failure. He rushed through a stimulus, and while it succeeded in boosting America’s debt, it failed to create jobs or decrease the nearly 10 percent unemployment rate. He rushed health care, and the negative consequences of that rush job are still reverberating through the system.
“There is no reason that the START treaty needs to be crammed through at the end of this Congress given serious concerns that have been raised about verification and how the treaty was negotiated. Political expediency is no reason for the president to force this issue now, especially when the decision could impact our national security.
“Instead of rushing a treaty without proper examination, the president should be advocating for the renewal of provisions of the PATRIOT Act that are set to expire at the end of February. At a time of heightened threat and persistent attempted terrorist attacks on our homeland, it is irresponsible for President Obama to ignore the PATRIOT Act and instead try to cram through START treaty approval.
“Instead of rushing START, the president should make the only responsible decision he can make in light of Ghailani, and put an end to his efforts to close Guantanamo Bay and trying foreign terrorist captured on the battlefield in U.S. civilian courts.
“Instead of rushing START, the president should be pushing to stop the massive tax increase his administration is about to impose on working families and small business owners through allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. These are the types of bills the American people want President Obama to get done before the end of the year, not another rush job on something that he alone has decided is a priority.”