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  • 22 Sitting Senators Demand Right to Provide Advice and Consent on New START

    On Thursday, twenty-two sitting U.S. senators sent a letter to the Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) demanding their constitutionally ordained power to provide advice and consent on the New START treaty. They believe the current actions of the Senate Democratic leadership and the White House are undermining this important constitutional function of the Senate:

    We take the advice and consent powers granted to the Senate by the founding fathers very seriously.  Rushing a matter of this magnitude through the Senate is not what they had in mind when they established this very important check on the executive branch.

    The senators note that despite multiple requests, the Obama administration has still refused to provide the negotiating record to the Senate. Without these important documents, the Senate is unable to fully understand the implications of the treaty. This Administration’s denial is tantamount to refusing the Senate an honest debate and undermines the Senate’s role in providing advice and consent. For many on the Left, however, the lack of debate is not a problem, since the virtues of arms control are assumed and any debate of New START’s implications on broader U.S. security is viewed as divisive partisanship. But Senators and the American people should not accept this misunderstanding of the Senate’s function. Policy arguments are not disruptive to the legislative process; informed debate is essential to deliberation.

    At this point, however, even if the negotiating record is provided, these 22 Senators believe there is insufficient time in the “lame duck” session to fully consider the terms and possible amendments to the treaty before a vote on ratification. At stake is not just the future of the New START treaty, but the broader understanding of the Senate’s “advice and consent” role in making treaties.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to 22 Sitting Senators Demand Right to Provide Advice and Consent on New START

    1. Samuel says:

      Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me. GOP should not talk about democrat "tactics" because they specialize in pushing their own agenda 'by any means necessary.

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    3. Bobbie says:

      Read up a little more, Samuel. And thank elected officials for their respect of the people's Constitution and their inner strength to protect it.

    4. Carole, Reno, NV says:

      regardless of past actions of either party, Constitutional procedures must be adhered to. Open factual debate is necessary to our national security. Disclosure of all facts by a sitting president is mandatory and predicated by his oath to protect the Constitution and the country. Anything less should be noted by Congress and 'We the People."

    5. Ed R says:

      to Samuel: You might want to reconsider your comment – this has nothing to do with partisan politics or "tactics" (no idea why you quoted it – does not appear in the story) and everything to do with constitutional power granted the three branches of government. If you favor an oligarchy, I'm sure there are many elsewhere in the world to satisfy your need. I support the 22 Senators that penned the letter regardless of party affiliation ( and the article does not indicate party affiliation) becuase this administration has done more to accure power to the executive branch than any in recent history. Whether by caveat, fiat or regulation, THEY increasingly attempt to make the legislative branch irrelevant when it suits THEIR idea of POLITICAL expedience. Preventing an unequal distribution of power is the intent of the checks and balances the three branches have in place. Civics 101 my friend – look it up, put down the glass and back away from the kool-aid.

    6. James Herrington, St says:

      I read somewhere that Michele Obama has somewhere near thirty assistants, each getting paid near or over $100,000 a year. Thats just another example of unnecessary and extravagant spending that we as taxpayers should not have to sustain. This is just one example. I wonder what the rest of the government is doing.

    7. HawkWatcher, Mi. says:

      Yes, and now we conservatives are pushing the GOP in the right direction. I'm encouraged by this action, it indicates a positive response to our recent political activism. Soon, it will be the people's agenda that is pushed in Washington, and we will emerge from this government-caused economic quagmire.

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