White House slams "hypocritical" Republicans for delaying passage of nuclear treaty

08:56, December 16, 2010      

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White House on Wednesday slammed some Republican senators as hypocrites for purposely delaying the approval of the new START treaty with Russia in the Senate.

"This is a new low in putting political stunts ahead of our national security, and it is exactly the kind of Washington game- playing that the American people are sick of," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs in a strongly worded written statement.

"It is the height of hypocrisy to complain that there is not enough time to consider this treaty, while wasting so much time reading aloud a document that was submitted to the Senate months ago," said Gibbs.

"This treaty has been the subject of nearly 20 Senate hearings and 1,000 questions, and is supported by President George H. W. Bush, every living Republican Secretary of State, our NATO allies, and the military leadership of the United States of America," he said.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev signed the new START treaty in Prague in April. The treaty is designed to replace the previous one which expired at the end of 2009. According to the new treaty, each country will reduce their nuclear warheads by roughly 30 percent respectively from the previous agreement.

As one of his major achievements since inauguration, Obama has been pushing hard for the Senate to ratify the treaty by the year- end, as it would be more difficult to pass in next year's congressional session after the Democrats suffered loss in midterm elections.

The Obama administration argued that any delay of approval would put U.S. national security at risk. But the Republicans are not willing to do so, citing concerns over change of nuclear inspection regime and a tight Senate schedule.

Source: Xinhua

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