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  • The Senate Has the Right to Amend New START

    The Senate plays a vital role in the treaty-making process. The Senate is required to provide due diligence in the considerations of treaties. The Founding Fathers set a high procedural bar for ratification and entry into force of treaties, expecting that the Senate would serve as a quality control mechanism.

    Thus, they gave the Senate the power to amend the text of any treaty brought before it. This includes New START, a strategic nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.

    In addition, the Senate must adopt a resolution of ratification for New START. The resolution of ratification can contain reservations, understandings, conditions, and declarations. The Senate has the power to adopt any of those to fix the seriously flawed New START.

    It is inappropriate to describe all amendments to text of New START as “killer” amendments. Blocking meaningful amendments undermines the constitutional authority of the Senate by artificially limiting Senate options for providing advice in the course of the making of treaties.

    The Senate considered the original START for nearly a year. The Moscow Treaty, which was far less complex than New START, was before the Senate for nearly nine months. The Obama Administration took more than 12 months to negotiate New START but has sought approval from the Senate in the course of the few days of floor consideration. The rush to ratify a flawed treaty undermines the important role of “advice and consent” that the Senate must exercise on any treaty of this magnitude.

    Upon the exchange of instruments of ratification, some of the changes the Senate could make to New START would have to be accepted by the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation might decide to reject instruments of ratification, which would mean that the treaty would not enter into force. Therefore, if New START is “killed,” it would be because the Russians rejected it, not the U.S. This would also mean that Moscow may be standing up for their interests more rigorously than the Obama Administration is standing up for U.S. interests.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to The Senate Has the Right to Amend New START

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    4. Pete, Houston Texas says:

      I expect our congress to do their full part in the due diligence in the Treaty and Senate leadership should have been fully prepped for the review before they recieved it. It should not be another approve it and then read it document.


    5. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      "Oh dear! What if we lose verification? Oh dear! Oh Dear!" I can see the Progressives running around, worry worry, but this is a bad Treaty. Since Obama has done nothing but serve the Foreign Interest it can hardly be an attractive element that a Third Generation Communist negotiated it! And yes, as you point out, the Russians have an easy out that would embarass America. The Russians are notorious for violating Treaties, Putin is old guard Communist. There is no Constitutional Representative Democracy! This is State Socialism plus gangsterism, that's what runs the Russian Republic.

      What do we get? The right for Russia to catch up? They are an oil exporting nation. The Russians get an advantage from the suppression of the American Oil Industry. Don't tell me we should give them all our secrets, let them worm their way into American Confidence? "Nuts!" That's what Republicans should say. Amend? Tear it down and start over. Get something for US! Do not drop our Nuclear Guard down, do not give up the American advantage. Send somebody who serves the American Interest, then we can take a New START.

      We do not get verification, the Russians do. We keep our Treaties and they don't. Simple.

    6. Norma in Nebraska says:

      This administration is of the mind that we should "accept the START treaty as written and then tweak it later." How about we read it, refine it, put in things that are good for America, take out things that are bad for America and THEN consider passing it!!!! If it took the administration 9 months to come up with this thing, the very least the President could do is allow the Senate the time they need to review it and make sure it is in our best interests to sign it. That is their JOB!!!!

      For the past two years, every single piece of legislation has been passed because it was "an emergency." Perhaps it is time to be proactive instead of reactive!!!!

    7. G-Man, Virginia says:

      First DADT, now New START. This Administration and Senate will stop at nothing to weaken United States national defenses.

      DADT is flawed because 1) the decision doesn’t strengthen the Country’s national defenses, 2) the Armed Forces will suffer from yet more social experimentation, 3) it creates a special class of individual within the Armed Forces, and 4) it works against formulation of a cohesive fighting force capable of protecting our freedom and liberty. Time will prove these reasons TRUE. I don’t glorify my sin, but it saddens me that the persistent minority want protected status, and legal justification for theirs.

      Secondly, it is clear from history and the recent Rianovosti articles that the Russians clearly see us as their adversaries and they are acting upon that understanding. The New START places maniacal, self-imposed limits on America's ability to advance its missile defense programs, and fails to deter proliferation. Only the naive would think that we should attempt to change the Russian world-view by weakening our nuclear arsenals or missile defense programs by ratifying New START.

      Further, based on facts from our Founding and our history America is more trusted to possess nuclear weapons than the former Soviets. Because of the Christian values that America was founded upon a case can be made that America places a high/er value on human life than the majority of Russians. It is possible to cite examples where America has gone astray [E.g. Roe v. Wade], but in the case of Roe v. Wade the sanctity of life was denigrated by an un-elected, activist Court – NOT – by the majority of Americans!

      The Russians understand one thing and one thing only: STRENGTH. Only when the United States is strong can it influence the world for liberty and freedom.

      U. S. Senate, you vote to ratify New START at your own political peril. Freedom loving Americans won’t stand for the weakening of their Country. We can't wait until 2012 to hold YOU accountable, and to help complete the restoration of our Country!

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