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September approval will strengthen U.S. national security

(Washington, D.C.)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, today issued the below statement following the Foreign Relations Committee's decision to hold a vote on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in September.  The Treaty will reduce U.S. and Russian strategic offensive nuclear stockpiles, restore verification procedures and inspections, and create momentum on nuclear non-proliferation:

"In thoroughly examining the New START Treaty, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held 12 hearings and heard from more than 20 witnesses.  Experts and former high-ranking officials from across the political spectrum have voiced overwhelming support for the New START Treaty as critical to America's national security interests.  It has been more than 240 days since the previous START Treaty expired, and every day we wait to ratify this treaty is another day we lose critical insight into Russia's nuclear forces.

"I welcome the Committee's decision today to vote on the New START Treaty in September.  Though I was eager to move the Treaty favorably out of Committee this week, I acknowledge that some of our colleagues have requested more time to study its effects.  I hope that the vote in September will demonstrate the broad, bipartisan support that past arms control efforts have garnered and trust that the additional time offered will help ensure that the full Senate will swiftly consider this important national security agreement."