What will the Senate do now?
November 28th, 2010
11:09 AM ET
12 years ago

What will the Senate do now?

(CNN) - Senate leaders disagreed Sunday over if and when to ratify a new arms control treaty with Russia.

Republican Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl said Congress has more urgent business to address than the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) when they continue the lame-duck session this week.

Kyl said the treaty is complex and should wait until the Senate reconvenes in January.

Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, however, said the Senate should debate the treaty in a responsible way before the winter break.

"To ignore and push aside the START treaty at this moment does not help our relationship with Russia in this critical issue of an Iranian nuclear program," Durbin said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Meanwhile, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, blamed politics for the back and forth.

"There's some game-playing going on with the START treaty," McCaskill said on "Fox News Sunday." "It's all about politics and it's all about trying to damage the president of the United States."

The Obama administration has consistently pushed for passage of the treaty before the next congressional recess. Previously, Obama said failure to ratify the treaty would be a "dangerous gamble with America's national security."

START is a nuclear arms reduction agreement between Russia and the United States that allows inspectors on the ground in both countries to monitor nuclear activity. Although it has been signed by the leaders of both nations, Congress has failed to ratify the accord.

Congress returns to Washington on Monday and is expected to address the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" military policy, the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts and unemployment benefits.

-Follow Gabriella Schwarz on Twitter: @schwarzgcnn

Filed under: Claire McCaskill • Congress • Dick Durbin • Jon Kyl • START treaty
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. annie s

    More urgent business than keeping our country safe? Really?

    November 28, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. From Utah

    Hey, Mr. Kyl, America is not the only country in the universe – do you realize we must get along with other countries other than the Tea Party Nation? Are the topics of international relations and diplomacy and national security too complex for you to understand? Can't you grasp the importance of a global concept, or are you incapable of priortiizing your tasks? You disgust me and make me feel ashamed to be a voting American citizen.

    November 28, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. King

    The masters of the stall game are talking about urgency, they just take the American people for a bunch of ediots. For two years I would never thought the word urgency was in their vocabulary, after pulling every delay tactic on every single one of o abama's policy. The people elected you to make decisions you have Been hiding and delaying for the past two years now it is time to show that you can govern. We are in a hightened crisis with the two Koreas. Do you want to weaken this president any more than fox entertainment news have done with their negative 24 hour broad casting on every channel in every country around the world. I wonder who will suffer in the end.

    November 28, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. GI Joe

    Whatever is going around Arizona, Kyl and McSongbird have both caught it. They have both changed positions on something so many times no one remembers what their real position is. Typical idiot republicans. Arizona ranks beneath Mississippii for brains.

    November 28, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. gate

    Without that treaty in place, no one is monitoring Russia's nukes. They could be walking out the door to North Korea or Iran right now. I'd say that is pretty urgent.

    This agreement was mostly constructed during the Reagan administration. This obstructionism is pure politics meant to hurt President Obama. In reality it hurts the United States and possibly the rest of the world if just one of those Russian nukes ends up in the wrong hands. The GOP must be stopped. They are drunk on power.

    November 28, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Wake UP!!!

    Let's see....National Security is a big Republican talking point, yet a Republican is holding up what may turn out to be an extremely important treaty. Verification of nuclear capabilities keeps both sides "honest."

    Obstructionism for obstructionism sake is ridiculous, at best, and very possibly dangerous for this country. Whether the Republicans like it or not, there some things that should trump politics - the first of which is the security of the people.

    November 28, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Oy Vey Az

    Kyl's urgent business is screwing with Obama. Nothing more, nothing less. Welcome to Arizona pardner !

    November 28, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Jim from Va

    Harry Reid controls the agenda of this Senate.If he wants to bring the treaty up for a vote then there is nothing preventing him from doing so.

    November 28, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |