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55 Georgia Legislators Urge Ratification of New START Treaty

By   /   December 21, 2010  /   Comments

ATLANTA (December 21, 2010) The United States Senate continues debate on the New START treaty this week, an arms control agreement between the United States and Russia. A delegation of Georgia legislators is releasing a letter signed by 55 members of the Georgia General Assembly that was delivered to U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), encouraging them to vote for ratification of New START (New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty).

“Fifty-five state legislators are sending a very strong message to Georgia’s U.S. Senators to ratify START before this post-election session ends and reinstate the inspections and verifications that our military leaders and experts believe are vital,” said State Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta). “We applaud Senator Isakson’s leadership on this issue and urge Senator Chambliss to join him in voting for New START this week!”

“We delivered the message to our U.S. Senators that ratifying the New START treaty is an essential part of our national security and a continuation of President Reagan’s arms control legacy,” said State Rep. Judy Manning (R-Marietta).

Georgia legislators who met in Washington with Isakson and Chambliss’ Chief of Staff Charlie Harman on Nov. 15 included Orrock, Manning, and Reps. Barbara Massey Reece (D-Menlo), Dee Dawkins-Haigler (D-Lithonia) and Michele Henson (D-Stone Mountain). They were joined by Elizabeth MacNamara, president of League of Women Voters of America (LWV) and a DeKalb County native, who emphasized that the LWV is on record in firm support of ratification of New START.

Isakson, who voted in favor of New START in the Foreign Relations Committee in September, spoke about the merits of the treaty during last week’s debate. “I think it is important to have a bilateral treaty between two countries who control 90 percent of the [nuclear] weapons,” Isakson said during his speech. He emphasized the need for “a regimen that has transparency and accountability.”

Rep. Dawkins-Haigler added, “We know our Senators share our sense of urgency about keeping nuclear weapons out of the wrong hands and reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles. Prompt passage of New START moves us toward that goal.”

The Senate voted 67 to 28 today to close debate on the bill, with a ratification vote expected to follow.

Georgia state legislators meet with U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson in November to encourage passage of the New START Treaty.

To view Sen. Isakson’s speech on New START, please visit the following link for Part I http://tinyurl.com/23bvhj8 and Part II http://tinyurl.com/2fsagkx.

Letter to Sen. Isakson:

November 18, 2010

The Honorable Johnny Isakson

120 Russell Senate Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Isakson:

As elected state legislators in Georgia, we are responsible for promoting policies that keep our common constituents – yours and ours — safe and secure. We believe that leadership on security can, and should, come from the top. As a United States Senator and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, you can lead the efforts to address the most dangerous threat to safety in our lifetime: nuclear weapons.

We, the undersigned Georgia legislators, are deeply concerned about the enormous risks posed by nuclear weapons. We are well aware of the horrific consequences of the use of even one of these dangerous weapons. We join our former U.S. Senator, Sam Nunn, in voicing our support for the goals of the treaty and urging its swift ratification.

Therefore, we ask you to take leadership on this vital issue by actively supporting the ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) recently signed by the United States and Russia. Your respected voice on this key ratification vote will be of great importance to other Senators who are trying to think through this important issue.

We know that you share our concerns about the risks of nuclear weapons. We are especially concerned about the spread of these most dangerous weapons around the globe into the hands of terrorists. We ask you to consider the growing consensus among defense and policy experts that this New START agreement reducing Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals is a crucial and essential first step in strengthening our nation’s nuclear security.

  • Washington and Moscow are no longer enemies, yet today both countries together still possess about 95% of the world’s nuclear arsenals. Massive arsenals that are capable of annihilating entire nations within an hour are more of a liability than an asset because they breed mistrust and perpetuate the risk of accidental nuclear war. By setting verifiable and legally-binding limits on strategic deployed nuclear weapons, New START is a significant and crucial step toward reducing these bloated Cold War-era nuclear stockpiles.
  • This treaty also establishes an essential state-of-the -art verification process that allows us to track Russia’s nuclear activities and verify the reductions to which they’ve committed. Without this treaty, the United States will be left without crucial information about Russia’s nuclear capabilities – a prospect that diminishes U.S. security and heightens nuclear dangers. We are sure that you support greater stability, transparency and predictability of the world’s other major nuclear power. New START’s verification process is also an essential foundation for work on further nuclear weapons reductions for improved security.

November 18, 2010

Senator Johnny Isakson

Page 2

  • In today’s world, the danger of nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands is particularly grave, given post-Cold War instabilities and terrorist threats. New START enhances international stability and is the necessary first step in gaining the international cooperation needed to prevent nuclear terrorism, and to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to more countries. This treaty will help us to more credibly and effectively address hostile nuclear weapons programs in places like Iran and North Korea.

Senator Isakson, unchecked development and spread of nuclear weapons assure that eventually these most devastating weapons will be used, with catastrophic consequences. The New START treaty will make our country a safer place. Please support the timely ratification of this treaty and be a leader in the ratification effort, making it one of your highest priorities in this post-election session.

Respectfully yours,

[Legislator signatures appear on attached page]

November 18, 2010

Senator Johnny Isakson

Page 3

Rep. Roberta Abdul-Salaam

Rep. Stacey Abrams

Rep. Kathy B. Ashe

Rep. Glenn Baker

Rep. Simone Bell

Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield

Rep. Ellis Black

Rep. Tyrone Brooks

Sen. Robert Brown

Rep. Debbie G. Buckner

Sen. Gloria S. Butler

Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dawkins-Haigler

Rep. Karla Drenner

Rep. Carl Von Epps

Rep. Gloria Frazier

Sen. Vincent Fort

Rep. Carol H. Fullerton

Rep. Pat Gardner

Sen. Ed Harbison

Rep. Joe Heckstall

Rep. Michele Henson

Rep. Cecily Hill

Rep. Henry D. Howard

Rep. Sistie G. Hudson

Rep. Carolyn F. Hugley

Sen. Lester G. Jackson

Sen. Donzella James                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rep. Mack Jackson

Sen. Emanuel Jones

Rep. Sheila Jones

Rep. Darryl Jordan

Rep. Margaret D. Kaiser

Rep. Ralph A. Long, III

Rep. David E. Lucas

Rep. Randal Mangham

Rep. Judy Manning

Rep. Pedro Marin

Rep. Rahn Mayo

Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan

Rep. Howard A. Mosby

Sen. Nan Grogan Orrock

Rep. Nikki Randall

Rep. Barbara Massey Reece

Rep. Earnest Smith

Rep. Calvin Smyre

Rep. Edward Stephens

Rep. Pam S. Stephenson

Sen. Horacena Tate

Rep. Rashad Taylor

Sen. Steve Thompson

Sen. Curt Thompson

Rep. Al Williams

Rep. Earnest Williams

Rep. Mack Jackson

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  • Published: 1710 days ago on December 21, 2010
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  • Last Modified: December 21, 2010 @ 5:49 pm
  • Filed Under: Press Releases

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Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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