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Senators Cotton, Cornyn, and Rep. Cheney Introduce New START Treaty Improvement Act

May 13, 2019

Contact Caroline Tabler or James Arnold (202) 224-2353

Washington, D.C. - Earlier today, Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced legislation that would withhold funds from a New START Treaty extension unless the agreement includes China and covers Russia's entire inventory of strategic and non-strategic nuclear systems. Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) will introduce companion legislation tomorrow in the House of Representatives. For full text of the bill, click here.

"Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping continue to expand and modernize their nuclear arsenals. Future arms-control agreements must take into account both the Russian and Chinese threats, while ensuring we don't place one-sided nuclear restrictions on ourselves," said Cotton.

"As we negotiate future arms-control agreements, we should take the current threat landscape into account. This legislation would ensure we can protect our country's national security interests as both China and Russia continue to make strategic expansions of their nuclear arsenals," said Cornyn.

"America deserves better than a mere New START extension. Any meaningful arms control treaty must reflect reality as it is, rather than the hopes and dreams of negotiators. In the decade since President Obama's New START Treaty was ratified, the world has grown more dangerous and complex. The New START Treaty does little to advance America's national security. Since agreeing to this treaty, Russia has modernized its nuclear arsenal, and an unrestricted China has taken advantage of the opportunity to do the same and more," said Cheney. "The changes laid out in the New START Treaty Improvement Act address Russia's nuclear expansion and the threat emanating from China. We must also realize that America will not be able to achieve the necessary changes to New START unless it is negotiating from a position of strength. That means Congress must invest in the modernization of our nuclear triad and the additional low-yield capabilities called for in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. These investments are critical to America's ability to rein in China and Russia."