House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized the Biden administration for seeking a five year extension on the New START Treaty with Russia.
New START, a nuclear weapons treaty between the United States and Russia, is set to expire in just 15 days, and The Washington Post reported Thursday that President Joe Biden’s State Department will approach Russia today seeking an extension.
“Any time an administration takes action that pleases both Moscow and Beijing, we should take notice,” McCarthy said in a statement to Daily Caller. “The Biden administration’s decision to seek to extend the New START Treaty for 5 years is a mistake that weakens our national security posture and provides few checks on our adversaries.” (RELATED: Kevin McCarthy Says Trump, Not Antifa, ‘Bears Responsibility’ For Riot)
The top House Republican claimed that START “only limits strategic nuclear weapons, while putting no restrictions on shorter range nonstrategic weapons,” an intentional focus of the Russian officials negotiating the treaty considering “Russia’s non-strategic nuclear weapons outnumber U.S. weapons in the same category by a ratio of 10 to 1.”
“Just as problematic, this treaty does not include China. According to the Defense Intelligence Agency, China will likely at least double the size of its nuclear stockpile over the next decade,” he continued. “They are on track to implement the most rapid expansion and diversification of its nuclear arsenal in China’s history.”
“Instead of seeking a short-term extension of the treaty or using the upcoming expiration of the treaty as leverage to get important new limits on Russian weapons or to bring China into the fold, this Administration decided to give an unnecessary and dangerous gift to Russia and the Chinese Communist Party,” McCarthy concluded. “The fact that this comes on day two of the Administration is a troubling sign of how this Administration is approaching two of the most significant national security threats facing our country.”
It should be noted, according to The Washington Post, that the Biden administration is mulling new “costs” to hold Russia accountable “for their reckless and aggressive actions that we’ve seen in recent months and years.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed during her Thursday briefing the Biden administration’s plan for New START
“New START is the only remaining treaty constraining Russian nuclear forces and anchors of strategic stability between our two countries and to the other part of your question, even as we work with Russia to advance U.S. interests,” she stated. “So, too, we work to hold Russia to account for its reckless and adversarial actions, and to this end, the president is also issuing a tasking to the intelligence community for its full assessment of the SolarWinds cyber breach, Russian interference in the 2020 election, its use of chemical weapons against opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and the alleged bounties on U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan.”
Former President Donald Trump also sought to extend New START and bring on China as an official signatory, but negotiations broke down in the fall of 2020.