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Legislation from United States of America Senate

Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces

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Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces

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07/31/19

Introduced

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Introduced in Senate

Date: July 31, 2019

Content
Code:
116.S.2394
Subject:
International Affairs
Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces
Date: July 31, 2019Official Title: To require certain reports and briefings to Congress relating to the expiration of the New START Treaty, and for other purposes.Short titleThis Act may be cited as the "Richard G. Lugar and Ellen O. Tauscher Act to Maintain Limits on Russian Nuclear Forces".FindingsCongress makes the following findings:
  • (1) Since the end of World War II, the United States has relied on a robust and effective nuclear deterrent as part of its national defense, particularly against the Soviet Union and its successor state, the Russian Federation.
  • (2) The United States nuclear arsenal must remain safe, secure, and reliable such that it can effectively ensure the security of the United States and its allies.
  • (3) Along with its nuclear deterrent, the United States has pursued a number of arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation agreements with the Soviet Union and Russia to ensure strategic stability and the protection of the United States homeland, such as
    • (A) the Interim Agreement Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Certain Measures with Respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, done at Moscow May 26, 1972 (commonly referred to as "SALT I"); and
    • (B) the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Strategic Offensive Reductions, done at Moscow July 31, 1991 (commonly referred to as "START I").
  • (4) In the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States continues to rely on a combination of nuclear deterrence and strategic arms control to help protect the United States from nuclear attack.
  • (5) On April 8, 2010, the United States and Russia signed the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (commonly referred to as "New START Treaty").
  • (6) In an op-ed to the Washington Post dated December 2, 2010, former Secretaries of State Henry A. Kissinger, George P. Shultz, James A. Baker III, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, and Colin L. Powell urged the Senate to ratify the New START Treaty, stating that it was in "the national interest to ratify".
  • (7) During the ratification process, the New START Treaty garnered bipartisan support, and the United States Senate approved the Treaty on December 22, 2010, by a 7126 vote.
  • (8) The New START Treaty entered into force on February 5, 2011, placing numerical limits on United States and Russian strategic systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers, as well as warheads.
  • (9) On February 5, 2018, the Treaty's central limits on strategic arms took effect.
  • (10) Through the New START Treaty's verification regime, which includes short-notice, on-site inspections at military bases and facilities, the United States is able to verify the data provided by the Russian Federation regarding its strategic nuclear arsenal. The verification regime provides both countries insight into each other's strategic nuclear delivery systems, warheads, and facilities, as well as data exchanges to track the status and makeup of nuclear weapons systems.
  • (11) During a February 26, 2019, hearing on nuclear deterrence requirements of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate, Commander of the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) General John Hyten voiced his support for the Treaty, saying he was "a big supporter of the New START agreement" and stating, "The New START treaty" provides "insights into the Russians capabilities. Those are hugely beneficial to me.".
  • (12) During a March 2017 hearing on nuclear deterrence requirements of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives, Air Force General Paul Selva, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also endorsed the New START Treaty, saying the Treaty is "a bilateral, verifiable agreement that gives us some degree of predictability on what our potential adversaries look like".
  • (13) Lieutenant General Jack Weinstein, the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, asserted that the New START Treaty was of "huge value" to United States security.