Gibbs vows White House will have votes on START
November 17th, 2010
02:40 PM ET

Gibbs vows White House will have votes on START

Washington (CNN) – White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs vowed Wednesday that President Obama will have the votes to get an arms control treaty ratified during the lame duck session of Congress, despite a top Republican Senator's insistence that it be delayed until next year.

The time frame is crucial because if there is a delay for the treaty, which needs 67 votes for passage, a new Senate with a slimmer Democratic majority will be sworn in come January. In that case Obama would suddenly need to line up seven more Republican votes from GOP freshmen who are generally very skeptical of both the Obama administration's foreign policy in general and the treaty in particular.
"We're going to work through that," Gibbs said of concerns by Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and other key Republicans. "And we're going to get not just a vote, but passage on this treaty on the floor of the Senate."

Kyl on Tuesday expressed deep concern about the treaty and told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that he should wait until next year to consider the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).

Gibbs told reporters that Obama is willing to meet with Kyl to address his concerns. "We'd be happy to meet with anybody," he said.

But Gibbs added that the White House is adamant that "failure to pass this endangers our national security" and could jeopardize continued good relations with Russia, which has helped the U.S. military transport supplies into Afghanistan.

"I don't think it's going to get pushed into next year," Gibbs said of the treaty. "I think we're - we're going - we're going to get this done because it's crucial to our security, it's crucial to our inspection regime, it's - it's crucial to seeing the reduction in those deployed weapons, and it's crucial to our international relationships."

He added, "I think this will get done before the end of the year."

Asked if he is convinced that the White House will have the votes to get it done and out of the way this year, Gibbs said, "We think we do - or think we'll get them."

Kyl has largely been seeking assurances that the current U.S. nuclear stockpile will be well maintained. In order to allay that concern, the administration agreed late last week to spend an extra $4.1 billion into modernizing America's nuclear complex, a move that was made just before Obama met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Japan on the sidelines of the APEC Summit to reassure his counterpart that the treaty will be completed.

Gibbs cast the issue as much broader than just an arms control agreement, saying that it will be a "test" to see whether "both sides can work together" in the changed political environment after the midterm election.


soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. first time republican

    Obama has been forcing his agenda on everyone. If the 2010 elections said anything, it was that most people don't want what Obama, Pelosi and George Soros are selling. Unfortunately, Soros has Obama and the kooks that run the unions in his pocket.... It's going to be a rough year if Obama continues to ignore the will of the majority–especially on economic issues.

    November 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Jim, IN

      First time republican eh? Your response reeks of Fox News, dont kid yourself.

      November 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  2. Bertina`

    We can comment on this story but not about the fat as@ from Fox?

    November 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
    • Bill in California

      WOW, you are really taking your electoral 'whuppin' pretty hard there Lady. No need for vulgarities. Maybe you and Jim, IN can get a discount rate for trauma counseling.

      November 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  3. phoenix86

    Gibbs also vowed dems would keep the House. The START treaty is terrible for the US, which is why Obama wants to get it through before the Republicans take over.

    November 17, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
    • Oil, health care and military spending

      CNN, why in the hell do you continue to let phoenix86 post on here? You know the crap that comes out of his mouth is crap, right? He ways the START treaty is bad of the U.S. and doesn't even give on example. Hey CNN, you're a big loser than Fox. Oh wait, that is the truthk bad example. FYI, I hate Fox News. Grow some balls CNN, start reporting truths and STOP debating Republican talking points that you know are false. Honest journalism where are you, the country needs you???!!!!

      November 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  4. Bob in Pa

    We have more important eggs to fry! Maybe we should Unionize teh Missle Silos, Dems would be all over it then.

    November 17, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    All is far in slander: Republicans/Fox News/Tea Party call our President a socialist. Republicans/Fox News/Tea Party are practicing APARTHEID politics which has very deadly consequences for everyone, read Nelson Mandela's history before he became president of South Africa.

    November 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  6. mary225

    Bush worked on this treaty as well. It has been in the works for years. We need to inspect Russia's weapons systems and determine who they are supplying to. It is very, very important for our national security, and the rest of the world (esp. Israel). The Republicans are risking alot by delaying this treaty. They simply don't want President Obama to take credit for this important treaty, so they would rather leave the country less secure. Republicans are playing a dangerous game, just like terrorists play. The share the same goal: see the USA and President Obama fail. They must be stopped.

    November 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  7. bill

    nothing has changed, gop is still going to be the party of NO

    November 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  8. u2canfail

    A treaty, can we let Obama get a treaty though? Well GOP, what are you going to do. Is it stop anything recommended or look at it? Didn't Bush work on this one?

    November 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  9. Mike Dallas

    No worries, the President will cave in to the Reds on Start just as he has on the tax cuts.

    Wars will go on, and more Americans will be killed.

    November 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  10. Oil, health care and military spending

    We have more nuclear war heads to destroy the Earth 10 times over and it's not enough for our government. The only thing they care about is sending taxpayer's money into the hands of the military complex. We spent almost $5 TRILLIOM dollars during Reagan's years on this stockpile and what did it get us? Where's that $5 trillion? It's sitting in the hands of the filthy rich. Can't we ask for $4 Trillion back since we never used them? Democrat, republican, it doesn't matter, it's the taxpayer that's getting duped.

    November 17, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  11. King

    These repugs thugs are treading into dangerous waters to see a skinny black man demoralize. This is very important stuff but they rather play games, then a year or even two years from now a nuclear bomb blast is set off in mandate. Killing countless millions and distroy newyork and the surrounding states. Guest who these morans are going to point the finger at. The only bad thing about it is that they will get away with it because the American memory span is worst than a Ginger fly because they have forgotten there was a great recession caused by GOP policies and the emergency measures obama and the dems took to get us out of the hole, they were crucified for it. These repugs are like a spoiled child that are allowed to cause all kind of caos as andJoe from CT, not Lieberman says:
    November 8, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm
    Whenever I see the term “a plurality” of likely voters I really have to wonder who they polled. If they polled Democrats, then, yes, they will get a large number of folks who say they want Sen. Hatch to go. If they polled Republicans, then what answer do they get? We are talking the US Senate here, not the Brigham Young Elementary School PTA! I do not have to agree with Senator Hatch (and I often do not) to recognize in him a legislator who truly cares about the country, not some small, limited part of it. Those are the people we need. Not the ignoramuses espoused by Caribou Barbie, the Great Bloviator, and Glenn the crybaby! Also, if Caribou Barbie wants to keep politicking, then she should quit her gig with Faux News (all the news that fits the print) and go for it.

    get rewarded when they throw a tantrum.

    November 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  12. Bill in California

    @Jim, IN Hey, it's pretty lonely over there at FOX, since you and your ilk were swept out of office. Lick your wounds, have a sip of Kool Aid and come on back. We were just starting to have fun.

    November 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  13. MollyBee

    Rep. Bohner voted no, no, no on every single recovery effort over the last 2 years. He wants to privatize your SS and Medicaid and give tax breaks to the wealthy.

    November 18, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  14. marty

    Jon Kyl's foolish negativity re: START is the straw that broke the camel's back. This is change???? Apparently the Republicans have absolutely no intention of doing anything beneficial for the American people and will sacrifice our country and its citizens in their quest for pure, unadulterated power. The sooner we rid the country of the Kyls and fellow Republicans, the sooner the USA will rebound to the wonderful country it once was.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  15. Rob the Rep

    OK, I am a longtime Republican and I have read enough about this issue to get my blood boiling! WTF, where are the real Republicans, the smart ones that used to reside in Washington?? You have got to be kidding me. Stop the BS and listen to reason for once. The CJof S says he is fine with the agreement, the Russians are fine with the agreement, and have implied that they will go ahead and ratify the agreement as we ratify, (ie. they are waiting on us, because we have a slower process!!)

    Please, please stop being stupid and un-republican. I am tired of the Republican establishment screwing things up!! Get your head out of your asses!! Now!!

    Foreign policy is our strength and we should be embrassing progress such as this! I mean "our" strength!! "Our" meaning us "real" republicans!! The ones that do not believe in huge government spending (unlike the fake Republicans of the last decade). The ones that believe in investing in the economy, (unlike the fake republicans of the last decade).

    You guys make me sick!!

    Put the agreement up for ratification, ratify the damn thing and then take credit for doing SOMETHING!!!

    If you dont, you are all jackasses in my book. And it will just further my belief that immigrating to another country may be my best option for a better future!!

    Also, try reading these posts once and awhile, they are written by the people who voted you into office. If you dont start doing the people's work, then dont complain when you are out of a job.

    Dip s$*ts.

    Thanks,
    Rob the real Republican.

    November 18, 2010 at 11:43 am |
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    December 15, 2010 at 3:15 am |