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  • Morning Bell: Release the START Negotiating Record

    Yesterday, the Senate voted 66–32 to begin debate on the New START agreement with Russia. Only a simple majority (51) was required, but vote counters can use yesterday’s roll call as a benchmark for final ratification, which will need 67 votes to pass. With the seating of Senator Mark Kirk (R–IL), the White House needs nine Republicans to join the Senate’s 58 Democrats. They got those nine yesterday, including Senators Bob Bennett (UT), Scott Brown (MA), Susan Collins (ME), Lindsey Graham (SC), Dick Lugar (IN), John McCain (AZ), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Olympia Snowe (ME), and George Voinovich (OH).

    But of those, according to The Hill, only Lugar, Collins, and Snowe have fully backed ratification. And at least two of those nine went on record in favor of letting the next Congress be the treaty’s judge. Early yesterday, McCain took to former Senator Fred Thompson’s nationally syndicated radio show where he called the treaty “a good idea” but also said he has “serious concerns about the missile defense part of it” and wanted to vote on it next year. Meanwhile, Bennett attended a press conference organized by Senator Jon Kyl (R–AZ) where he told reporters: “I would hope that we could reach accord, and I would hope that it would be next year.”

    Kyl’s press conference was a major blow to the White House as a slew of potential yes votes lined up to announce they would not vote for the treaty this year, including the newly sworn-in Senator Kirk and Senators Lamar Alexander (R–TN), Kit Bond (R–MO), Saxby Chambliss (R–GA), Orrin Hatch (R–UT), Mike Johanns (R–NE), George Lemieux (R–FL), and John Thune (R–SD).

    Senator John Kerry (D–MA) staged a counter press conference just minutes after Kyl closed his where he insisted that allowing the next Congress to ratify the treaty would be “a recipe for endless delay on a matter of enormous national security significance.” Kerry added: “Nine hundred questions were filed and asked and answered by the Administration.”

    Kerry may be right that hundreds of questions have been asked and answered. But many questions also remain unanswered. Let’s start with just two: Where are the negotiating documents, and when will we be allowed to see them? These documents are crucial to resolving key ambiguities about the treaty, one of the biggest being the treaty’s effect on our nation’s right to implement new missile defense systems.

    The Administration has claimed from the beginning that New START will have no impact on our nation’s ability to defend itself against ballistic missile attack. Then why did Russians insist on inserting language into the treaty’s preamble limiting our missile defenses? The American people have a right to know. Conservatives won a major victory Tuesday when the Senate parliamentarian ruled that preambles to treaties are amendable. If, as the White House and Senator Kerry claim, the missile defense language in the preamble has no impact on our missile defense rights, then they should also have no objection to removing it from the treaty entirely. When that vote occurs, we will see which Senators truly support missile defense and which do not.

    In Why Does Sovereignty Matter to America?, part of The Heritage Foundation’s Understanding America series, Steve Groves writes:

    The proper exercise of diplomacy by the United States does not threaten our sovereignty. The Founding Fathers understood the value of diplomacy. They drafted the Constitution, in part, because they wanted the United States to be able to negotiate treaties with other nations. But they also understood that American foreign policy must ultimately be controlled by the American people.

    That is why, for instance, the United States Senate must approve treaties that are negotiated by the President. That is how our diplomatic process works. But today, American sovereignty is threatened by the many treaties that seek to take power away from the nations that negotiate them. The solution is not to reject treaties or diplomacy: it is to return to the vision of the Founders, and to their belief that the American people have an inherent right of self-government, through their elected representatives, that cannot be extinguished by any treaty.

    President Obama’s New START creates an implementing body, called the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC), and gives it broad powers to promote the objectives of the treaty. These powers could include imposing additional restrictions on the U.S. missile defense program. This is an unacceptable cession of our national sovereignty. President Ronald Reagan walked away from Mikhail Gorbachev’s offer to eliminate nuclear weapons because he asked us to give up our missile defenses in return. No true conservative could support this treaty as it stands.

    Quick Hits:

    • After Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot and killed near the border in Arizona Tuesday, National Border Patrol Council President T. J. Bonner told USA Today: “This is a sign that the politicians and bureaucrats are overly optimistic in their assessment that the borders are more secure now than at any point in our history.”
    • Not only are Wisconsin state Democrats trying to ram government union contracts through a lame duck session before a Republican governor is sworn in next month, but they are busting convicted Democrat legislators out of jail in order to do it.
    • Despite President Obama’s call for a partial federal pay freeze, nearly 60 percent of federal managers expect their salaries to increase during the next two years.
    • The Center for Science in the Public Interest has recruited a mother of two from Sacramento to sue McDonald’s, claiming she is powerless to stop her kids from forcing her to buy McDonald’s Happy Meals.
    • You can watch our panel on WikiLeaks damage to diplomacy and options for prosecution at 1 PM here.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    44 Responses to Morning Bell: Release the START Negotiating Record

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      Murdoch, HF, and the RICH

      don't want PEACE

      there is NO PROFIT IN PEACE.

    2. Becky Hannan, Libert says:

      I wuold add that No true American would support this treaty as it currently is.

    3. Mary............WI says:

      EVERYTHING should be put on hold until the new congress takes office in a couple weeks. Enough already with the "urgency" factor! The American people spoke in Nov ….let the new congress come up with proposed bills to be reviewed by the American people. That is the American Way!

    4. Richard H. Irish, Ed says:

      The Senate has the responsibility to shut down ALL consideration of this START treaty until we get a VALID president!

      Obama is ineligible as he fails the natural born citizen requirement. His father was NOT a U.S. citizen as REQUIRED

    5. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      STOP START NOW!

    6. cynthia jones says:

      Even though Condilessa Rice mostly supported the START treaty she had serious concerns regarding the wordage of the missile defense which seems to put serious restrictions on what we may as a country deem necessary to protect ourselves. This cannot happen . We must remain sovreign. We must be able to reinvent ourselves and upgrade our aging weapon systems. If this part according to Sen. Kerry is no big deal then it should be no big deal to get rid of it all together. Russia's movements military wise do not indicate that she is disarming or peaceful in her intentions. Actions always speak louder than words. From my last visit there it seems Russia as a country is becoming less free and less interested in democracy and more authoritarian. One should not be naive about who is the real power ,Putin ,and should not forget his roots as the head of theKGB. Look at our own President who has not strayed from his radical leftist leanings. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing.

    7. Lynn, Austin says:

      Let's hope the Republicans don't cave to anything this Lame Duck Congress is trying to ram down our throats, again!!! Wait until next year to pass anything, please! That's what November 2 was all about.

      Remember last Xmas when they passed Obamacrap on Xmas Eve, behind closed and locked doors, and they're trying to do it again.

      I think they should wait and pass the tax cuts next year and call the crooks bluff. Remember, Harry Reid took 5 wks off in Oct. to campaign for his Senate seat, Congress was on break for 5 wks in August. They stalled all legislation so that they wouldn't have to declare anything before the election and the nerve of that thug, Reid to suggest Republicans are whining and stalling is deplorable. Too bad! They're out!

      Don't cave and give into anything. NO MORE SPENDING!

    8. R Holland, Chandler, says:

      What's the hurry here? Are the Russians going to break the treaty they just signed and start building more nuclear weapons. I don't think Obama is giving us the truth. I think he has put us on a path the will give Russia a big advantage and hurt our future possible defense strategy.

    9. Larry White says:

      Stopping Start – this one- is important.

      Is there a way Heritage could help Conservative Activists like me; ie, click on the Senator's such as the eight above who say they are voting to delay START; type a message/ comment and forward to their office?

      We are learning to have voice; let's make it louder.

      Thanks

      Larry and Nikki

    10. Ron, Cole Camp says:

      The Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC)? Just what we need, another new bureaucracy! Back to business as usual. And Kerry holds a counter press conference. What a joke!

    11. ThomNJ says:

      Hmmm, I like "Peace through superior firepower". As long as the other guy knows he can't harm you, Ken Jarvis, you can have peace. You seem to be placing an awful lot of trust in human nature and in folks you have never met, and folks who have not even been born. How do you know that none of them will ever want to take a swipe at you and the USA – when there exists tons of evidence to the contrary?

    12. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Its not Russia I worry about – its China. This preoccupation with the former Soviet Union will come back to haunt us in years to come.

      And Ken, why do you think Newscorp is against peace? Must be in your view George Soros is the good guy and Robert Murdoch is the bad guy.

    13. B. Hall Syosset N.Y. says:

      Great a new federal bureau. I guess we will have a new czar. And a new overpaid staff. I finally think I have it figured out. Obama's plan to add new jobs is to create as many new federal employees as humanly possible. Oh I forgot, we will all have to pay their salaries. What the hell was the last election about? They just don't get it yet.

    14. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      The big issue in my mind is who is negotiating Treaties in the Foreign Interest? That is what is happening here, and jamming this thing through in the Lame Duck is proof to me that Representation, the Constitutional question, is being damaged here. DINOs are caught red handed right here, giving away American Sovereignty by misrepresenting who and what they are. They are Communists who have infiltrated the American Government doing thousands of Unconstitutional things including Unconstitutional Forms of Government! The fact they will not release the Negotiations File to the responsible Representatives is criminal. Yes, a criminal act!

      Great idea to amend the Preamble, but really "Why should a Treaty be such a big fat document?" Sounds like the same people wrote the New START Treaty as wrote all those crazy fat unreadable Bills the 111th Congress! Well then! All the more reason to knock it down! Representative Government demands our Representatives actually Represent! They cannot Represent if they don't read the Bills, if they do not respond to the opinions of Sovereign Americans. I say these people are not loyal to the Sovereigns they serve, therefor they are traitors.

      All that crazy mush mouth technical language has been used to baffle the Americans at home and abroad. Generality, bad analysis, poor use of Statistical abstracts, really crazy basic ideas, and Junk Science: that is what Progressives are doing in their efforts to destroy America.

    15. Dennis Georgai says:

      I do not think this treaty is in our best interest, we give up way to much for little return. I also think anything that the tratitor john kerry is part of smells, he showed his true colors in Vietnam when he labeled all of us as war mongers and as tortures. I am a Vet of that war, I know lots of things were not done right, but when you look at the cause you see a politican behind it. Kerry set himself up for Congress from the start, his actions speak for themselves. I also think the photos that were displayed when he ran for President were all staged or photoshoped, his supposed medals were bought and paid for in an effort to get political gain.

    16. Mike Fenton, Bakersf says:

      Senator Kerry says "900 questions have been filed, asked and answered by the Administration".

      Can you help me find these '900 Questions'? The list would contain only questions that were 'filed, asked and answered', and would not include questions that were answered but never filed or asked.

    17. gorio says:

      This "situation" is typical of the way most of the important decisions are being made in "our, the peoples" name, do little of controversial nature untill the last minute then using the alinsky playbook pit the opposition against the "public good" or "national security" to "create" the crisis and "force all the players on both sides to make quick risky decisions without further vetting. This is exactly the technique used in the healthcare fiasco and the irony is that the conservative media is once again unable to get ALL the information to the public or even summaries. This is NOT government "of the people" this is "calculated misinformation" and "getting the most out of a crisis". I thought Rahm left, is he like Putin? Is he just faking his departure to trick the public???

    18. toledofan says:

      This is a bad deal and strongly favors the Russians. I don't think we should support any treaty developed or supported by Obama because he never will negotiate favoring America. I think it's easier for him to just give up the store rather than stand and defend it. I think that anytime we relinquish any of our decisions to a group like the BCC, it's the same as allowing the UN to make decisions for us. If it's so good then why can't it pass on it's own merits in January, I mean if it's not ratified by 1/5/11 does that mean the Russians are going to attack us or pull out of the deal? If we haven't ratified it for the past 6 months or longer why does if have to be ratified right now? So, maybe it's not that good of a deal in the first place.

    19. Jeff says:

      seems to me the Senate parlimentarian believes the preamble to be legally binding, thus the possibility of ammending it would be required … kind of flies in the face of the Obama Admin (who claims its not binding) and affirms the Russian view that it is binding …

    20. Indy Voter says:

      With the 2/3 vote requirement to ratify treaties, the GOP can stop this and yet they are allowing this to go forward. There is no rush to get this done, the voters spoke on 11/2, let this go into 2011 and then take the proper time to review and debate. I believe the GOP cut a deal with the President / Dems to extend the tax rates for 2 years and in exchange for that, they will support START…I have no proof, just a gut feel. Our national security should never be rushed through the process nor used as a bargaining chip. I will continue to call my senators and the GOP leadership, this is not a Lame Duck issue.

    21. Pingback: Morning Bell: Release the START Negotiating Record

    22. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Without a doubt John Kerry is a traitor! He turned on his own in Vietnam and he is turning on all Americans now. Sure! Kerry should be hung, he is Infiltrating the United States Government on behalf of the Foreign Interest. It isn't illegal for Kerry to promote the New START Treaty, it is however illegal for him to do so in the Foreign Interest. What? After America's fall is he planning to live in Moscow?

      The Russians are ultimately behind the Progressive Agenda, so for Obama and his gang to bargain our Sovereignty away with them? They cannot bargain in good faith. They are on the same side!

    23. Publius says:

      The R.I.N.O.'s are collaborators! It's all charade to them.

      Sen Voinovich stumps on the Senate Floor about the need to protect Central Europe from an overbearing and increasingly revanchist Russia, citing his large ethnic Hungarian constituency…then quietly voices not only his support for New START, but his strong desire to vote on it. Come on Senator! Grow a SPINE in your final days in office! (Or just get out.)

      Welcome back Sen Murkowski. I see you have flipped parties (or flipped-off the conservatives you also claim to represent). Why don't you redeem yourself and push this treaty to next session where there is time to vette it properly?

      When will people in power wake up and realize this is not a benign game?

    24. Yellowbird says:

      Beware, when the incompetent failure obama attempts to railroad another brick on Americans. Many unknowns and numerous lies can be expected.

    25. Pingback: ADF Alliance Alert » Senate plans weekend work to ratify START, pass spending bill

    26. beckNcall Illinois, says:

      Amazing, I just saw John McCain on fox news last night asking his fellow congressmen if they "had not heard the american people loud and clear on Nov 2nd'………. He was talking about the tax compromise and ear marks and how many were ignoring the votes. You'd think he would GET IT himself concerning our protection?

      What a hypocrite. Lord forgive me but I almost hate politicians.

    27. John Martin, USA. says:

      This treaty is being lauded by people who do not have this country's best interests at heart. I have SO lost faith in our Government to do anything that will really benefit us the people they are supposed to be working for. NOW they are bickering to the point where it looks like a budget might not be passed for next year. Who said it had to be a group of lawyers that were needed to run our country? Maybe some actual business people? They all want to point the finger at each other and it is we the people who have to suffer for it. This really wasn't meant to be a two party system but that's what we ended up with. All I can say is God help us ALL. I can say that I am to the point where I want to find out how not to have to pay taxes anymore. It can be done. The people in charge have no idea what to properly do with the tax money they do receive from US!:o

    28. Pingback: Stop START: Who Does a Defenseless America Benefit?

    29. Jackie Pierce says:

      Oone of the most important functions of the federal government is to be sure we are in position to defend this country from possible attacks. From what I know of the Start Treaty, we need more time to study the supporting papers and to determine whether or not the terms are in our best interest. Now is not the time to ratify this Treaty. Too many unanswered questions.

    30. Robert C, Kammerdien says:

      we do not need to disarm our selves at this time it would be a grave mistake. North korea threatening nuclear war we are in iraq and afgan, iran threatening to strike out against us while they send bomb parts to south america for chalves who hates americans along with men and known terrorist from iran being flown into chalvez's country.while he is sending weapons grade uranium to iran and we know china will more then likely side with north korea . to down size our defence systems would be the gravest mistake america could ever do at this time.

    31. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 12.17.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    32. David Bess, Carson C says:

      Poor ken jarvis, he must be poor for he beleives everyone else is rich. I would like to know his definiation of rich. Compared to the rest of the world our poor are rich. Freedom is the tool that makes us rich as a country and as individuals. However remember a nation without a strong defence is not a strong nation and can not protect the rights and freedoms of the rich or the poor.

      This treaty is a farce, a progressive tool leading to one world government.

    33. Grandpa Dave, Florid says:

      The current administration is Jimmy Carter-in-spades … Make major cut backs in Defense so there's more money for the Nanny-State. Hopefully, when the American people wake-up in 2012 a new administration will step in and address real priorities.

    34. Pat, Hartland, Michi says:

      I believe that congress should wait till January. From what I've read I believe this treaty is not in America's best interest and would Jepordize our ability to defend ourselve from a missle attack.

    35. Barry Wood says:

      John Kerry can't be trusted.

      The Russians can't be trusted.

      Obama can't be trusted.

      Congress can't be trusted.

      This bill being rammed down our throat without us knowing what is in it.

      Do we need any more reasons why this Start Treaty should NOT be voted on now?

    36. rhurt, California says:

      Before, when Russia went down as a major power-was there peace; yes, you betcha! The reason that the peace was so resolute-was the fact that Russia knew that America was their friend and the Communists were not. Russia knows that America will defend them if needed, but also they know that the US will not support them if they are harmful to NATO or world peace. The world knows that America is not a bad Dictator type country. The world also knows that when a country embraces America as a friend, that country enjoys peace, freedom, and economic security like never before. So, stop trying to fix something that doesn't need fixing-if America is safe and secure-so goes the world. However, if your strapping bombs onto the backs of children and killing women and children, as well as peace loving people, then you're going to have a major problem with the USA. We don't need to weaken the USA in any so-called balancing act of missile counts-get out of the past-DETANDT is dead-leave it in its grave. Why is it that Liberals-Progressives, and Communists have to live in the past when there are no enemies of the world except those that are living in the past-say 700AD, you know the Muslims that want to force the world to convert or die. Lets concentrate on peace by keeping the present safe with a strong America and a strong defense for the most lovable country in the world. So, before you-Liberals go off on a tangent-remember how much this country has given to the world-money, food, clothing, and books. Why are books so important? IT's Freedom of the mind and hopefully the body-government will follow.

    37. June,USA says:

      I am tired of our president groveling to other countries and giving away our rights to protect ourselves. No wonder other countries have no respect for us. Obama won't release this bill so we can know what is in it .You know its something bad for us. There needs to be a law that bills cannot be held in secret before voting. No More Nasty Nancy moments of having to vote before we can know what is in it. I have come to the conclusion that he and "others" are out to destroy our country while he enjoys all his presidential benefits ,expensive vacations,etc.while it is happening. I hate being laughed at and being told to just be quiet and behave myself.

    38. Henry says:

      Why would anyone belief anything Russia says, must less what they do. Russia is not to be trusted, Never, Never. We must wait until we can get an AMERICAN PRESIDENT. Perhaps another Reagan!

    39. Henry says:

      Why would anyone believe anything Russia says, must less what they do. Russia is not to be trusted, Never, Never. We must wait until we can get an AMERICAN PRESIDENT. Perhaps another Reagan!

    40. Freebird says:

      Why are we even talking about this ? Why isn't everyone on the phones calling these senators and telling them we do not want START the way it is currently written ? And that they need to WAIT and discuss it more ? Is there a house on fire somewhere ?

      Oh, yes thats right, Cloward-Piven strategy.

    41. Tom Gales says:

      EVERYTHING should be put on hold until the new congress takes office in a couple weeks. Enough already with the “urgency” factor! The American people spoke in Nov ….let the new congress come up with proposed bills to be reviewed by the American people. That is the American Way?

      Haven't you arrogant elites learned anything from the Nov. vote? Anyone that votes for any of these bills will be on the list to be replaced as soon as possible.

    42. Pingback: Robert Gibbs Wrongly Equates Twitter With Transparency | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    43. Barbara Russell, Kan says:

      I would ask Heritage or anyone to please find out all the deals RINO'S received for their vote. I think it would be a good project for some one to find out.

    44. Pingback: Russian Duma to link missile defense to START limitations « Hot Air

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