(Washington, D.C.) Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, responded to today's statement by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) on New START with the following comments:
"Prompt ratification of New START is essential for U.S. national security. It is irresponsible for Senate Republican leaders to block a vote on this common sense treaty and ignore the advice of the U.S. military and Republican and Democratic national security experts," Kimball said.
"The administration's earlier, $80 billion, ten-year proposal to maintain the arsenal through the life-extension program and without renewed nuclear testing already provided the weapons labs with more than enough to get the job done. Further attempts by Senator Kyl to 'earmark' still more funding for the weapons labs is fiscally irresponsible and politically unsustainable," Kimball said.
"If Sens. Kyl and McConnell continue to block New START this year, and, later, reconsideration of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, it would damage U.S. national security, U.S. credibility abroad, and shatter the fragile political consensus for higher funding to maintain the U.S. nuclear stockpile in the years ahead," he said.
"It is time for the Senate to put national security ahead of partisan politics and nuclear pay-to-play games. Postponing or rejecting New START would further delay the re-establishment of an effective U.S.-Russian inspection and monitoring system, undermine U.S. nonproliferation leadership, and jeopardize U.S.-Russian cooperation, including joint efforts to contain Iran's nuclear program," said Kimball.