Corker Cosponsors Lugar’s Resolution on START

Lugar resolution incorporates Corker’s provisions on nuclear modernization.

US-Senate-SealWASHINGTON, D.C.  – U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he is cosponsoring Ranking Member Richard Lugar’s (R-Ind.) resolution to accompany a treaty between the United States and Russia to reduce strategic nuclear weapons. The Lugar resolution (formally called the Resolution of Advise and Consent to Ratification of the New START Treaty) is expected to replace the version by Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) which was offered as a place holder pending further negotiations. The Lugar resolution addresses concerns raised by members of the committee and other senators over the past six months.

“We have worked very closely with Senator Lugar and his staff over the past month and very much appreciate him addressing a number of our concerns in his resolution including missile defense, plans to modernize our nuclear security complex and weapons systems, and ensuring Russian compliance with the treaty requirements. If Senator Lugar’s resolution is adopted in its entirety on Thursday and is not weakened through amendments, I will vote it out of committee. I also want to thank Senator Kerry for the thorough hearing process that has occurred and for his desire to accommodate our concerns in this resolution,” said Corker.

“Through the ratification process for the New START treaty, our office has focused on ensuring that if the U.S. reduces its strategic nuclear stockpiles over the next several years, the treaty does not inhibit our ability to maintain and continue to improve a robust missile defense system and that we ensure our country’s remaining weapons are safe, secure and reliable. The United States is currently the only nuclear weapons country not adequately investing in modernization. If the U.S. is going to take weapons out of service, most Americans would like to know the arms we do have are fully operable and safe while in storage.

“I have been conducting a thorough review of the treaty and its implications for our national security. I have attended a number of hearings, and my staff and I have met with nuclear experts, advocates and former lab directors as well as Secretary Clinton, Chairman Kerry, Ranking Member Lugar and Senator Kyl. I have traveled with senators from both parties to three of the nation’s nuclear facilities where the weapons work takes place, including Sandia and Los Alamos in New Mexico and Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

“In order for me to be able to support this treaty on the Senate floor, the administration must formalize its commitment to the modernization of our remaining arsenal, and based upon my conversations with administration officials my sense is they are willing and planning to do so.”

Source: Office of U.S. Senator Bob Corker
Photo: U.S. Senate