May 13th, 2010
02:31 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama to submit nuclear arms treaty to Senate

President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shake hands after signing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty on April 8.
President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shake hands after signing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty on April 8.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will send the recently signed nuclear arms reduction deal to the Senate for ratification Thursday, according to a summary of a phone conversation between Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev released by the White House.

The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed by Obama and Medvedev on April 8, would cut the total number of nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russia by about a third. Specifically, it fixes a ceiling for each country of 1,550 nuclear warheads and 700 deployed nuclear delivery vehicles.

Obama has called the treaty the "the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades." It builds on an agreement that expired in December.

Some top Senate Republicans, however, have expressed skepticism about the accord.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in a statement in April that the administration "will need to meet three requirements if it expects favorable consideration of the START follow-on treaty."

"The Senate will assess whether or not the agreement is verifiable, whether it reduces our nation's ability to defend itself and our allies from the threat of nuclear armed missiles, and whether or not this administration is committed to preserving our own nuclear triad," McConnell said.


Filed under: Nuclear weapons • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Dano

    "Some top Senate Republicans, however, have expressed skepticism about the accord." Now that's a surprise. Everyone knows that we need enough nukes to destroy the world 15 times – having enough to destroy it only 10 times is not nearly enough. It doesn't matter what President Obama proposes Republicans are going to be against it, even if their idol Ronald Reagan supported the very same thing. It seems to me that getting 1000 nuclear weapons out of circulation reduces the chance of terrorists getting their hands on one, but that's just me.

    May 13, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Jay

    I wonder if the Party of No is going to once again try to defeat common sense.

    May 13, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Poser

    Nuclear disarmament was a goal of Ronald Reagan. This treaty makes a big step toward achieving that goal but because it's President Obama, the GOP opposes it.

    The accord set a ceiling for each country of 1,550 nuclear warheads. How is that not enough to defend ourselves? Does McConnell even listen to what he's saying?

    It simply boggles the mind that the GOP continues to oppose everything whether it makes sense or not.

    In November, Vote NO for the Party of NO.

    May 13, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Eloise

    My guess is the Repubs want more–not fewer–nukes. Just what the world doesn't need. Oh, I mean nukes not Repubs. Well, on second thought both.

    May 13, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I hope that they pass this thing soon. It is something that is needed. I can't imagine any reason to vote against this treaty. Reagan did this withthe Soviet Union; so no conservative could really go against it without going against him.

    May 13, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. IKHAN

    An important step no doubt.
    However efforts have to be initiated right away to get the Middle East declared as a nuke free region.

    May 13, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Dar

    That still leaves us enough war heads to blow up the world as we know it with a few left to spare.
    To bad we cant get rid of them all, but that will never happen.

    May 13, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. stevegee

    Obama's new treaty is called LEFTY (love enemies, feds turn yellow). Gee, wonder how the despots of the world will like it?

    May 13, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Average American

    Since that Drill Baby Drill thingy didn't work out too well for ya, I have a new slogan for Sarah, Beck and friends. Nukes baby nukes...the more the better, right? Heck, maybe the NRA should lobby to allow people to have their own nuclear arsenals. It isn't any crazier than lobbying to let people carry loaded weapons into bars. Seriously, drinkin' and shootin'. What could go wrong?

    May 13, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Sgt. USMC

    Wow, a President who gets things done... haven't seen one of those in a while.

    May 13, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |