Raise Your Hand if You Think the Senate Can Pass a Nuke-Test-Ban Treaty

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Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 9:49 am

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, simply put, is an international accord banning above-ground nuclear-weapons testing. Most of the world has embraced it, including every nuclear power except India. The two nuclear powers that have signed the treaty but have not ratified it are China and the U.S., which failed in 1999 to get the 67 Senate votes necessary for full ratification. Even still, the issue of ratification is academic: President George H.W. Bush ordered a halt to above-ground nuclear testing that has held to this day.

Today, Marc Ambinder previews Vice President Biden’s speech this afternoon on steps to implement the Obama administration’s nuke-free-world vision, a radical idea first embraced by such socialists as Ronald Reagan, and Marc’s preview contains this highlight:

Vice President Joe Biden will mount a stout defense of the Obama administration’s commitment to the nuclear test ban treaty today, vowing to pursue its ratification as part of its comprehensive non-proliferation and nuclear security agenda.

At the risk of stepping on Mike’s beat, Biden has been out in front in criticizing Senate dysfunction. Does he really think that in an election year a GOP minority that’s grown reflexively hostile to anything the administration proposes and which thinks it can retake the majority is going to work with him on this?

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Comments

4 Comments

Thursday Daytime Links « Gerry Canavan
Pingback posted February 18, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

[...] * GOP to filibuster jobs bills entirely on procedural grounds. These guys should definitely be put back in charge. There’s no way they’ll ratify a test ban treaty, either. [...]


Daryl Kimball
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 9:20 am

Spencer:

Yes, its obvious that there are some pretty strong partisan tides running in the Senate. That doesn't take much intelligence to point out.

But treaty ratification efforts don't begin and end with one speech and the logic of the VPs argument is hard for even the most die-hard pro-testing Senators to quibble with … the United States stopped nuclear testing nearly twenty years ago and it is simply not needed to maintain the nuclear stockpile, which other states would benefit from renewed testing, which could help them improve their nuclear arsenals. Why block the implementation of a agreement that verifiably bans an activity we no longer need but would be useful to our adversaries? The administration should be commended for restarting the discussion on this issue and trying to move us forward at a time when U.S. leadership on nonproliferation is more critical than ever.


Daryl Kimball
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 2:20 pm

Spencer:

Yes, its obvious that there are some pretty strong partisan tides running in the Senate. That doesn't take much intelligence to point out.

But treaty ratification efforts don't begin and end with one speech and the logic of the VPs argument is hard for even the most die-hard pro-testing Senators to quibble with … the United States stopped nuclear testing nearly twenty years ago and it is simply not needed to maintain the nuclear stockpile, which other states would benefit from renewed testing, which could help them improve their nuclear arsenals. Why block the implementation of a agreement that verifiably bans an activity we no longer need but would be useful to our adversaries? The administration should be commended for restarting the discussion on this issue and trying to move us forward at a time when U.S. leadership on nonproliferation is more critical than ever.


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Comment posted August 12, 2010 @ 2:50 am

Yes, its obvious that there are some pretty strong partisan tides running in the Senate. That doesn't take much intelligence to point out.


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