Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Start Treaty Debate Under Way

I'm not writing much about the Senate debate on the New Start Treaty. It's about time, it looks like the votes are there (but just barely), and it looks like Harry Reid will call for a vote before Christmas. Ratification would be a nice Christmas present for the world. Y'know, peace on earth, and all that. Although it's possible Republicans are excluded by the qualification "to men of good will."

I'm not writing much because it's all been said. The Republicans will mount their dumb ideas. Jon Kyl will fulminate that there hasn't been enough time (only since last spring), and others (probably repetitively) will argue that it prevents the United States from setting up missile defense, leaves too many nukes in the hands of the Russians, blah blah blah. In contrast, Mitch McConnell has shown a bit of responsibility in quashing the run-out-the-clock requests from Jim DeMint for the entire treaty to be read.

John Kerry is doing a nice job of guiding debate, as far as he is able. Dick Lugar, as always, is a statesman. John McCain even seems to be acting a bit more responsible than he has on other issues.

The procedure for treaty ratification.

Key issues and responses to critics.

A more detailed version of issues and responses.

The Armchair Generalist has a good summary of the action so far.

Page van der Linden on the amendment process. Looks like amendments to the treaty will not be considered, although amendments to the Senate's statement on the treaty will.

On Twitter, @plutoniumpage, @nukes_of_hazard, and @csisponi are worth following.

I'll post more links to helpful material as I find them.

CSIS-PONI is liveblogging the debate.

Nikolas Roth on the complaint that there's not enough time.

Senator Lugar's speech covers all the bases.

Senator Jeff Bingaman's (NM - D) speech has the numbers. h/t to John Fleck)

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