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Senator pushed for ratification as subcommittee chair

(Washington, D.C.) - Praising it as a measure that will strengthen America's national security and further the cause of controlling nuclear proliferation, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, joined Senate colleagues to ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty ("New START") today by a vote of 71 to 26.

Shaheen worked tirelessly with Senate colleagues to fight for the ratification of NEW Start, which will allow the U.S. to resume critical inspections of Russia's nuclear arsenal and will ensure that the U.S. can follow former President Ronald Reagan's mantra to "trust, but verify" Russia's nuclear commitments. 

"With the ratification of New START, we are following in a long history of strong, bipartisan support for reducing the threat posed by nuclear weapons around the globe.  This historic step allows us to strengthen America's national security and restore America's leadership on the nuclear agenda," Shaheen said. 

The treaty would limit the number of strategic nuclear weapons deployed by each nation and allows for each nation to conduct short-notice inspections of the other party's nuclear arsenal. It continues reduction and verification initiatives begun under the START I treaty, originally proposed by President Ronald Reagan and signed in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush.

As of today, it has been 382 days since the United States was last able to inspect Russia's nuclear arsenal.

New START has the unanimous backing of the U.S. military and its leadership, including Secretary Gates, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Commander of America's Strategic Command, and the Director of the Missile Defense Agency.  America's military establishment is joined by the support of every living Secretary of State - from Secretary Jim Baker to Secretary Condoleezza Rice - as well as five former Secretaries of Defense, nine former national security advisors, and former Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush. 

For a summary of the treaty from the State Department, click here.

For a copy of the treaty text, click here.

For more State Department fact sheets, click here.