White House “Walking Away” from New START Deal
To appease some Republicans and secure the 67 votes necessary for Senate approval of the treaty, the White House pledged an additional $4.1 billion to be spent on nuclear modernization over five years. But Republicans are now concerned that the promised funding will be dropped amid budget-reduction efforts at the Pentagon.
In recent weeks, word leaked that the administration is considering deep cuts to the nuclear arsenal — perhaps slashing the number of strategic warheads from an estimated 2,152 to between 300 and 1,100 — prompting backlash from Republicans in both chambers.
It was a bad strategy that resulted in typically bad policy; in other words, typical Washington. Now, House lawmakers are trying to find a way out of the disarmament box constructed by their Senate colleagues. This should continue to serve as an important lesson for Senators and Representatives; especially as certain interest groups ramp up the quiet, though occasionally intense, pressure to approve the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).