Senator Richard Lugar, a Republican who supports the new START, said he doubts the treaty will be ratified this year. Although several of his fellow Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have serious concerns about START, the committee approved the treaty last month. The full Senate is slated to deliberate, but if the midterm election results in fewer Senate seats for Democrats, START will have a tougher time passing.
Lugar criticized Republicans who oppose the treaty. An excerpt from CQ Today:
“Lugar did not mince words when it came to his own party’s role in obstructing progress on the treaty, known as New START.
“Asked why he has had such trouble persuading his GOP colleagues to join him in supporting the accord, Lugar observed that since the end of the Cold War, there has been considerable opposition in the Republican party, sometimes Democrats, but very frequently Republicans, who took the position back then that you just can’t deal with the Russians.’
“Lugar added that in the current political climate, ‘there is also a feeling that this is something that is not a high priority for many members of the Republican Party.’
Lugar does not believe START restricts U.S. missile defense plans, nor does he believe the U.S. and Russia are in secret negotiations to restrict missile defense. Last week, six Republican senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requesting that she turn over documents and transcripts related to secret missile defense talks. The State Department has denied such talks.
Lugar admitted that it’s “very hard to rebut secret negotiations…I would just say there aren’t any.”
If the talks are secret, how would the Senator know there aren’t any? I guess he takes it on faith, despite the Obama administration’s refusal to allow senators access to the START negotiating record.