December 5th, 2010
09:47 AM ET
12 years ago

Lugar: Senate has votes to pass START

Washington (CNN) - The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee laid out his plan Sunday for the lame-duck session of Congress, which includes the passage of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty).

In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar said he thinks there are enough votes for the treaty - a nuclear arms agreement between Russia and the United States - to pass through the Senate.

"The votes are there," Lugar told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Although he said there was little interaction between President Obama and Republicans before the midterm election, he has met with the president multiple times to discuss the treaty.

Before the current congressional session is over, the Hoosier senator said he wants to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to all Americans and pass a comprehensive omnibus spending bill to allow the government to continue to function.

Despite increased attention over earmarks - legislative provisions that direct approved funds to a certain project - Lugar said the Senate is avoiding the larger issue of the deficit.

"We're trying to talk about earmarks as a way not of talking through decisions on the budget or on the deficit, but wheedling around the edges," Lugar said.

A bill to ban earmarks recently failed in the Senate, and Lugar, who is serving his sixth term in the Senate, put pressure on his party not to just try to defeat Democrats in Congress and defeat Obama - a strategy he says is "not going to work." He said the Republican Party must never become “the party of no.”

"At some point, there really have to be constructive Republican programs and a sense of leadership coming from our party, quite apart from whatever the president and Sen. Reid might be doing," Lugar said, referring to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Congress • Dick Lugar • START treaty • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Seattle Sue

    But the Republicans can't pass this treaty until they have secured a tax break for the wealthiest top 2% of our population. Like they say country first. I will never vote for a Republican again.

    December 5, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. annie s

    Can someone please explain to me why it is so important to increase our deficit with tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans? In the years since Mr. Bush gave this gift to them, we lost 8 million private sector jobs, so the rallying cry of "they are the job creators" is hogwash. Republicans continue to look out for only the wealthy, proudly giving the middle finger to the rest of us..

    December 5, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. GI Joe

    Famous things that have been and will continue to be

    HELL NO – where is the nearest bar filled with lobbyists? (Boehner).

    December 5, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. King

    Hey this the first repug I here that also think that the strategy of making Obama one term president will distroy the country. Hey this economy has nothing to do with taxes, when Clinton had high taxes the country strived. When bush cut the taxes the count went to he'll. The economy work by DEMAND. Company have to fight like he'll to get the CUTSTOMERS DEMAND MONEY. That mean putting the best quality and quantity product to get the a piece of the demand money. When the demand is high companies hire more people to compete with hundreds of companies that want a piece of the customers money. When demand is low companies go out of business, and who don't have to layoff workers to survive. REBUILDING AMERICA INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM, using the rich 700 billion dollars tax cut money, will create 6 to 7 million jobs directly, and will create EPIC DEMAND MONEY, which will creat another 2 to 3 million more jobs indirectly. The fed will do the hiring directly and states will get their money via state tax revenues. This will be the most massive modernization this country ever go through, which will push the unemployment rate below 7 percent, in the near future. It's time we stop our idelogies on both side which been keeping our country back and catapult our country into the future.

    December 5, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. kat

    STOP THE CLASS WARFARE. This is insane, If someone works their butt off and makes a nice living, plus provides employment for others who are actually willing to WORK, then leave them alone and let them prosper. This is America, Let it work. Get the deadbeats off they System and they too will go to work.

    December 5, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. evan

    i am glad we have a few honest republicans in congress. ia am a hoosier and even thou i do not agree with Richard Lugar on everything, i like him and i respect him because he respects the people of Indiana. god bless you lugar.

    December 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Darrell


    It is true that wealthy individuals invest in small business development, like business angels or venture capital, but please remember it is the entrepreneur, who use his/her money (savings) to start and create new businesses...I have been working in small business finance since 1996, I have never a had rich person come to me asking for money to start or grow a business. Rich people save their money and often invest in small business, but not enough to say they are the fuel that create or start small businesses. I am not against being rich or want take away their wealth...I too want to be rich as I grow my two consulting firms...but the fact is the rich have money to pay their fair share taxes in this country

    December 5, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |