More lawmakers are needling President Obama about when he’s going to get around to fulfilling the promises he made to the Senate in order to get the new START arms-reduction treaty pushed through in 2010.
Last week, two Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee urged Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) to check in on the administration’s nuclear modernization promises, 16 months after the treaty passage.
Yesterday, a group of freshmen who weren’t on the Hill when START was pushed through wrote directly to Obama, asking when he was going to coe through on his commitment to modernize the U.S. nuclear complex and strategic delivery systems.
“For those who voted in favor of New START, the commitment to nuclear modernization was deemed essential,” said the letter, led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.). “Those of us who came to the Senate after the New START was ratified, and who were already skeptical of the treaty’s merits, will watch closely to see how these commitments are carried out. A failure to honor past nuclear modernization commitments will impact our willingness to support New START implementation and any future treaties related to our nuclear weapons complex.”
The pledge to provide sufficient funding for modernization wasn’t in the president’s FY 2013 budget request.
“While our nation’s fiscal crisis demands that we make difficult budget decisions, failing to address our nation’s nuclear modernization requirements will add a needless national security crisis to our nation’s fiscal crisis,” it continued. “Reductions to nuclear force levels mandated by New START cannot be made without unacceptable risk unless the arsenal and the weapons complex are modernized.”
Also signing on to the letter were Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).