Six U.S. Republican senators on Tuesday introduced a resolution voicing concern about an alleged Russian breach of a 1987 arms control treaty.
GOP lawmakers have assailed Obama administration officials for what they see as an insufficient U.S. response to suspicions that Moscow has tested missiles in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. In the accord, the United States and Russia agreed to refrain from testing or fielding ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles.
“Fresh off the invasion of a sovereign state, Russian cheating cannot be interpreted in anything but the most sinister terms,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and his colleagues said in a news release. “Cheating is not a separate issue, but is rather recognized as an equal part of [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin’s long-term plan for a resurgent Russia.”
Calling the INF Treaty “the central arms control accord of the nuclear era,” the lawmakers said Washington “must treat it seriously and pursue violations relentlessly. There is simply no point in having treaties unless both sides treat them with the utmost fidelity, and act in a manner binding to the agreement.”
Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence, was joined in introducing the measure by senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Three House GOP members are advancing complementary legislation, the statement notes.
What We're Following See More »
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Monday that the government funding bill will be released on Tuesday. The bill is the last piece of legislation Congress needs to pass before leaving for the year and is expected to fund the government through the spring. The exact time date the bill would fund the government through is unclear, though it is expected to be in April or May.
As has been rumored for a week, Donald Trump will nominate Ben Carson, his former rival, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In a statement, Trump said, "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up."
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."
"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.
"Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are working on legislation that would limit deportations" under President-elect Donald Trump. Leading the effort are Judiciary Committee members Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is also expected to sign on.