Ratification Of START Treaty Looks Likely

The Hill reports that GOP Senators are conceding that they don’t have the votes to block ratification of the START Treaty:

Republican senators say privately they expect the Senate to ratify the New START treaty this week, which would hand President Obama his third major victory of the lame-duck session.

GOP senators — including those who plan to vote for the treaty and those who say they’ll oppose it — have told The Hill they expect it to pass easily.

At least seven Republican senators have announced they either will vote to ratify the treaty or are leaning strongly toward doing so. That means Democrats are only two GOP votes shy of ratification.

Two-thirds of the senators present in the chamber, assuming there is a quorum, must vote “aye” to ratify.

Two more GOP senators said Monday afternoon they are likely to support the treaty.

“I’m leaning toward supporting the treaty but I want to makes sure our side gets a fair hearing,” Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) said.

Said George Voinovich (Ohio): “I support it.”

The arguments in favor of the treaty, not the least of them being the money that will be saved from the reduction in America’s nuclear arsenal, are rather apparent. The main argument against ratification at this point seems to be that it’s being done in a lame duck session. However, this won’t be the first time that a major treaty was ratified in a lame duck session, the same thing happened with NAFTA in 1994.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Military Affairs, National Security, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. swift boater says:

    Saving money, I bet that was a great factor in the British and French thinking of the 1920’s and 1930’s. But hey, the elites wont have to worry–or will they?

    I keep hearing START is Reagan’s baby. Maybe it’s the same name but this isn’t the Gipper’s treaty. Reagan’s cornerstone to foreign policy, Trust, BUT VERIFY, has been thrown out the window. Americas opportunity to check the Soviets, errrrrr, Russians compliance is non-existent.

    Also non-existent is the Chinese not catching up to us rapidly thanks to our tying our hands.

    Nice country the Liberal\Progressive\Socialists are leaving our kids.

  2. David says:

    Swift, the non-existent verification is what we have now without the new START treaty. I agree we need something in place with China, but killing the START treaty would do nothing to help and would probably hinder any negotiations in the future on such a treaty.

  3. tom p says:

    >>>”The main argument against ratification at this point seems to be that it’s being done in a lame duck session. ”

    Ohhh…ohohohoh…. we have had only MONTHS to study this treaty!!!!!!”

    The GOP knows whether this is good or bad. Seeing as their only argument seems to be, “Obama is trying to push this thru a lame duck congress……..!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Says it all

  4. Pug says:

    Swift Boater, a lot of Liberal\Progressive\Socialist radicals disagree with you. People like James Baker, Condoleeza Rice, Richard Lugar, Colin Powell and Henry Kissinger.

    But compared to you what do they know?

  5. An Interested Party says:

    “Saving money, I bet that was a great factor in the British and French thinking of the 1920′s and 1930′s.”

    The same old tired “Hitler is coming” tune…one would think these people could develop some new material…

  6. michael reynolds says:

    When the GOP has a choice between:

    a) Good for the country, good for Obama, and
    b) Bad for the country, bad for Obama,

    they will always choose ‘B.’ Party trumps country for this GOP.

  7. I fear that the main argument isn’t even the lame duck session but, as has been noted, that the Obama administration is for it. There really does not appear to be any particularly good argument against it.

  8. reid says:

    In a less political environment, there would be no controversy here. But a certain party has developed a reputation for having to say “no” to everything….

  9. anjin-san says:

    > Nice country the Liberal\Progressive\Socialists are leaving our kids.

    For God’s sake, FOX NEWS is calling for the GOP to get their thumbs out of their asses and ratify START.

    > It says something about the weirdness of our times that the Senate’s approval of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” could lead to the scuttling of a major arms control treaty with Russia that could jeopardize American national security.
    Though a few conservative experts have opposed the pact, the latest strategic arms reduction treaty with Moscow, known as “New START,” should be a nuclear no-brainer. The treaty, which would require Washington and Moscow to reduce their strategic nuclear arsenals by about 30 percent – and limit Russia to no more than 1500 long-range atomic warheads on 700 missiles and bombers – has been endorsed by the entire U.S. military brass, the intelligence community, and a litany of former Democratic and Republican arms control experts alike, including 7 former U.S. strategic commanders and national security leaders from previous administrations. The list includes such Republican defense stalwarts as Henry Kissinger, James Schlesinger, and George Shultz

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/12/20/man-gop-right-thing-start/#ixzz18iqzbaAH

  10. michael reynolds says:


    Well, sure it’s endorsed by every thinking person, but we need more than that, we need Republican senators.*

    The opposition can’t even come up with any good bogus rationales.

    *Apologies to Adlai.

  11. Lorne Marr says:

    I think the GOP will reach out their hand in the end and ratify the treaty. But they will certainly avail themselves of the opportunity to point out its imperfections and disadvantages for the US in order to diminish the success of the Obama administration.

  12. anjin-san says:

    > point out its imperfections and disadvantages for the US in

    Perhaps you could share those with us. Everyone… everyone of any stature at all in the national security realm favors this treaty.

  13. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Anjin, have someone with a command of english read it to you. If we improve our missle defense system, the Russians will walk away from the treaty. Why would you negotiate your right of defense away? Obama knows. You are just following the pied piper like all the rats. This treaty needs to be discussed in the full senate. It has not been done. Democrats defeated an amendment to the preamble which removed the part about missle defense. Whats up with that? You people here trust a man who lies at every turn. If Obama’s lips are moving, he is lying. Alinsky wants to weaken America and Obama is the agent. If I am wrong, so what? If you are wrong it could lead to disaster.