Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New START Treaty - #2498 -Ratification: Senate Passes START, 71-26 - Hot Air (2) There Was No GOP "Collapse" on New START - Foreign Policy

So excited is The One by his big win that he’s called a presser at 4:15, presumably to spike the ball after a week filled with lame-duck legislative touchdowns. Maybe it’s a good thing that the GOP didn’t take back the Senate. The way we’ve been going over the past month, that might have led them to pass the omnibus spending bill this week too. The final vote came after Senate Democrats accepted two amendments designed to placate Republicans who had qualms about the treaty. The amendments, which passed on voice votes with bipartisan support, emphasized the administration’s commitment to a limited missile-defense program and to continued funding to modernize the aging U.S. nuclear weapons complex. The amendments were to the resolution of ratification accompanying the treaty, a nonbinding statement that codifies the Senate’s understanding of the pact but does not directly affect its language. Republican efforts to alter the treaty language were defeated, with supporters of the pact arguing that such changes would have forced new negotiations with Moscow and effectively killed the treaty. Read more........  Please read this entire article as to the politics behind the scenes, and why so many Republicans caved, not necessarily because they believed in the treaty.  I watched more of this than I care to admit in the last week, but have really learned so much about how the Senate operates.  It certainly confirms the hard work that so many of us gave last fall, and why it was so necessary to try to change this horrible  system.  Even after the START Treaty has passed, they are  still in session at 5:10 pm passing more bills, hope there are enough Republicans left to challenge what needs to be challenged.  Senate please go home so the rest of us can relax and enjoy the rest of Christmas.  My thanks to the Republicans who tried to stop this Treaty, certainly not the following list ......... Republicans voting yes: Alexander, Bennett, Brown, Cochran, Collins, Corker, Gregg, Isakson, Lugar, Murkowski, Snowe, Voinovich, and Mike Johanns, who was the only member of the caucus to flip from no on cloture to yes on the treaty. (Judd Gregg missed the cloture vote.) I was amazed yesterday to see so many Republicans defect after both McConnell and Kyl, the chief negotiator for the GOP, said they’d vote no.


There Was No GOP "Collapse" on New START - Foreign Policy - As New START heads toward Senate ratification on Wednesday, some in Washington are stunned by the split in the Republican ranks that will allow Democrats to amass over 70 votes in favor of the treaty, splitting off more Republican senators than on any major legislation since Barack Obama became president.  "Republican opposition to New START is collapsing," the National Review's Rich Lowey wrote Tuesday, sounding the alarm. He called the final vote tally coming on Wednesday afternoon a "dismaying rout."  But the GOP leadership, which will vote against the nuclear reductions treaty, said that it did not press its members to oppose New START as a matter of party loyalty. They knew that there were two groups inside the Republican caucus on New START, and their strategy focused more on gaining concessions and being involved in the process than taking a principled stance against the agreement.  Read more.......

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