|WASHINGTON--Missouri Senator-elect Roy Blunt and nine other Senators-elect have requested that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reserve consideration of the "New START" Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation for the 112th Congress, which will begin in January.
The 10 Senators-elect made the request in a letter, stating:
"One of the most important tasks of the 112th Congress will be to carefully consider measures that protect the national security of the United States. And few matters will more directly impact our security than arms control agreements like New START that would dramatically reduce the U.S. nuclear deterrent in a strategic environment that is becoming ever more perilous."
The letter continues: "Out of respect for our states' voters, we believe it would be improper for the Senate to consider the New START Treaty or any other treaty in a lame duck session prior to January 3, 2011. Indeed, no bilateral strategic arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union or Russia has ever been ratified during alame duck session.
"Additionally we are hopeful to have the opportunity, along with the full Senate, to review the treaty's negotiating record, which is a critically important component in putting the pact in full context.
"Proponents of this treaty, aware that today's Senate is likely to support the agreement in higher numbers without our participation, are urging the Senate to give its advice and consent in the coming weeks. We call on you to defer action on this arms control treaty until the Senate reconvenes in the 112th Congress and we are able to participate fully and in an informed manner in its deliberations on New START."
The letter was also signed by Senators-elect John Boozman (AR), Rob Portman (OH), Jerry Moran (KS), Mike Lee (UT), Ron Johnson (WI), John Hoeven (ND), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Rand Paul (KY) and Marco Rubio (FL)