A second leading Republican is opposing Senate ratification of the New START treaty based on classified intelligence that the arms pact cannot be verified and that Moscow is manipulating the treaty to prevent the U.S. from expanding missile defenses.
“New START suffers from fundamental flaws that no amount of tinkering around the edges can fix. I believe the better course for our nation, and for global stability, is to put this treaty aside and replace it with a better one,” Sen. Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican, said in a little-noticed floor statement last week.
Mr. Bond, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said he outlined the problems with the treaty in a classified letter to senators and then presented several comments based on the secret intelligence explaining why, as he put it, “I cannot in good conscience support this treaty.”
Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, earlier called for debate on ratification to be put off during the lame-duck session of the Senate because he had concerns about U.S. nuclear modernization and treaty constraints on missile defense and conventional long-range strike weapons.
President Obama has made ratification of New START a top priority for the White House during the lame-duck session.
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