Heritage Action Condemns Rumored New START Deal

Cynical Washington Ploy using National Security as a Chit

Washington – Several news outlets are reporting that Senate Republicans are preparing to cut a deal that would exchange ratification of New START and extension of unemployment insurance for a temporary reprieve from the coming tax hikes.

“Senate Republicans must not use a nuclear treaty as a chit,” Heritage Action’s CEO Michael A. Needham said.  “Americans rejected this sort of backroom deal making in November and they will remember if Senate Republicans embrace this cynical Washington ploy.”

In recent days, some Senate Republicans have opened the door to ratification of New START during the Senate’s lame duck session.

“After meeting with President Obama at the White House, Senate Republicans appear willing to reject the message delivered in November,” Needham continued.  “This alleged deal making, reminiscent of the cornhusker kickback, would jeopardize our national security.”

Last month, Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), vice chair of the Senate’s intelligence committee, announced his “strong opposition” to the treaty.  Based on intelligence reports, Bond believes the treaty cannot be verified and would result in a “one-sided reduction in our deployed forces.”

“Senator Bond raised some very serious concerns and every single Senator should read his classified letter before voting on ratification,” Needham concluded.  “Senators have an obligation to Americans.  If they cut this deal, they will have failed the American people.”

Heritage Action for America’s opposition to ratification stems from serious, substantive policy concerns.  In November, Heritage Action targeted 10 states, including Arizona, Kentucky and Tennessee, with direct mail pieces.  The mailer urged constituents to call their Senators and tell them to oppose the treaty, which “put Russia’s military interests ahead of our own.”  Thousands of Heritage Actions activists have contacted their Senate offices.

With more than 700,000 members across the country, The Heritage Foundation and its affiliate organization, Heritage Action for America, are committed to building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and a civil society flourish.  To that end, Heritage Action will continue to oppose ratification of the New START Treaty.

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