Metavid

Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Dec 16th, 2010 :: 7:15:40 to 7:32:45
Total video length: 10 hours 24 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:196 Duration: 0:17:05 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

Roger F. Wicker

7:15:37 to 7:15:57( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: legislative day. mr. dorgan: madam presi that concludes the unanimous consent requests. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. wicker: do i understand that the senate is back on general debate on the start ratification? the presiding officer: that's correct.

Roger F. Wicker

7:15:40 to 7:32:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Roger F. Wicker

Roger F. Wicker

7:15:58 to 7:16:20( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: mr. wicker: i thank the president. madam president, america had an election on november 2, and let me begin by reminding my colleagues that the american people spoke loud and clear in november and chose a far different team to serve in

Roger F. Wicker

7:16:21 to 7:16:41( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: washington, a vastly -- washington. a vastly different leadership will soon take over in the house of representatives and a substantially different group of senators has been chosen by the american people in the election on november 2. it -- it seems that the

Roger F. Wicker

7:16:42 to 7:17:04( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: leadership of this lame-duck senate is determined in the waning days of 2010 to pack quite a bit of legislation that normally is -- is debated over a considerable amount of time into just a few days. not only this start treaty that we're on today, but also don't

Roger F. Wicker

7:17:05 to 7:17:25( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: ask, don't tell, supposedly the majority has not given up on -- on the "dream" act which would provide amnesty to many illegal immigrants, also the massive omnibus appropriation bill with 2,000-plus pages. and so we -- we're here at this

Roger F. Wicker

7:17:26 to 7:17:48( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: time realizing that if the congress doesn't act, the government will run out of money on saturday. i assume a short-term c.r. is going to be done to address that, but certainly it would be much easier if we passed what the minority leader suggested today and that is a reasonable short-term resolution so that the government can be funded,

Roger F. Wicker

7:17:49 to 7:18:10( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: that the lights can stay on until mid-february and the newly elected congress, the people's choice, can best decide these great issues that are facing our country. i did find it interesting a few

Roger F. Wicker

7:18:11 to 7:18:32( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: moments ago to hear the chairman -- the distinguished chairman of the foreign relations committee scold the senate about the number of filibusters that we have supposedly had in this term of congress. i believe the statement was made that we've had more filibusters in -- in the last two years than

Roger F. Wicker

7:18:33 to 7:18:53( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: we've had in decades or since world war ii or words to that effect. madam president, here's why that statement is only true in a very technical sense. here has been the practice of the majority during the three years that i have been in the senate and from what i understand much longer before

Roger F. Wicker

7:18:54 to 7:19:14( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: that. typically the majority leader of the united states senate brings a bill to the floor of the senate, he immediately fills the amendment tree, that is, he offers all of the amendments that are allowed under the parliamentary rules of the senate. that's called filling the tree

Roger F. Wicker

7:19:15 to 7:19:40( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: so that no one has an opportunity to file amendments and then the majority leader files cloture on that bill. and technically, yes, madam president, that is considered a filibuster, but i do not believe that's what most american people consider a filibuster and a delaying tactic with excessive

Roger F. Wicker

7:19:41 to 7:20:04( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: speech when they hear the term filibuster. so let's be clear that there's been an unusual practice at least in the last three or four years, calling the bill up, filling the tree, filing for cloture and that goes down in history as a filibuster. now, with all that we have to do and all that our leadership has determined that we must consider

Roger F. Wicker

7:20:05 to 7:20:25( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: during these waning days of december 2010, we must divide our attention between an expensive 2,000-page omnibus bill and consideration of a very complicated arms control agreement. and it's that agreement that i will discuss today. but it is hard to imagine a more

Roger F. Wicker

7:20:26 to 7:20:47( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: important, a more serious issue than our nuclear weapon stockpile. and my view -- in my view such a debate deserves our undivided attention, but we will pivot in a few moments to -- to moving to the omnibus bill. but i want to take what time i have at this point to begin

Roger F. Wicker

7:20:48 to 7:21:09( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: sharing my concerns over this treaty and the effect it might have on national security. article 2 of the constitution requires that the united states senate ratify any treaty the president signs with a two-thirds vote. i take this responsibility very seriously as i'm sure all of my colleagues do. this responsibility requires us

Roger F. Wicker

7:21:10 to 7:21:30( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: to review any proposed treaty to ensure that it is in the national interest of the united states of america. as a member of the senate armed services committee, as a member of the foreign relations committee, i have participated in the review of this treaty to date. and while i appreciate the efforts of my chairman and my

Roger F. Wicker

7:21:31 to 7:21:51( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: ranking member, i'm not convinced that the treaty in its current form is in the national interest of the united states of america. and i might add, madam president, that i am not alone in this view. to hear debate on the floor from time to time today one would

Roger F. Wicker

7:21:52 to 7:22:12( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: think that all of the learned authorities, all of the collected wisdom of the united states of america, present and past, are in favor of the hasty ratification of this treaty. and -- and i would point out that there is a wide variety of

Roger F. Wicker

7:22:13 to 7:22:33( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: information out there and opinion that should be brought to the attention of members of the senate and of the american people. first of all, i would point out to my colleagues an op-ed by

Roger F. Wicker

7:22:34 to 7:22:55( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: former secretary of state rice which appeared in the 2010 issue of "the wall street journal," entitled new start, ratify with caveats. secretary rice is generally in favor of the direction that we're headed in the ratification of -- of the start treaty, but

Roger F. Wicker

7:22:56 to 7:23:16( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: she does say that we need two caveats before ratification takes place. first, she states smaller forces make the modernization our nuclear infrastructure even more urgent and she commends the

Roger F. Wicker

7:23:17 to 7:23:40( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: valiant efforts, including senator jon kyl, to regain more robust modernization of our nuclear weapons. secondly the former secretary of state says that the senate must make absolutely clear that in ratifying this treaty the u.s. is not reestablishing the cold war link between offensive forces and missle defenses.

Roger F. Wicker

7:23:41 to 7:24:01( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: and she says that it is troubling that new start's preample is unclear in this respect. i -- i wonder if we do decide, as a senate, to move toward consideration of this treaty if

Roger F. Wicker

7:24:02 to 7:24:22( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: we will be allowed to offer amendments to the preamble to address the concerns of our immediate past secretary of state. now, further i would commend to my colleagues a "wall street

Roger F. Wicker

7:24:23 to 7:24:46( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: journal" op-ed. as my colleagues know and many americans know, mr. woolsey was -- has a distinguished record as a delegate at-large to the start and defense space negotiations back during the mid-1980 as ambassador and chief negotiator for the conventional

Roger F. Wicker

7:24:47 to 7:25:07( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: armed forces treaty in 1998 and 1991 and president clinton's director of central intelligence from 1993 to 1995. and so that bipartisan experienced former government official lists four concerns that he has with regard to the

Roger F. Wicker

7:25:08 to 7:25:28( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: new start treaty. number one, he wonders about this administration's commitment to modernization. number two, he says it needs to be made clear that the united states in ratifying new start

Roger F. Wicker

7:25:29 to 7:25:52( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: will not be limited at all in its -- and its missle defense he does not believe that has been taken care of. number three, director woolsey, mr. clinton's director of central intelligence says that this treaty represents a step backward in the verification process between the united states and russia.

Roger F. Wicker

7:25:53 to 7:26:13( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: and, finally, mr. woolsey sites the -- cites the need for a binding resolution on russian submarine-launched cruise missles. so i think information that members of the senate need to hear more about and need to consider.

Roger F. Wicker

7:26:14 to 7:26:38( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: further, i would mention, madam president, two opinion pieces by steven g.redimaker, an assistant secretary of state from 2002 to 2006 in a "washington post" op-ed on friday, august 20,

Roger F. Wicker

7:26:39 to 7:26:59( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: 2010, secretary radimaker authored an opinion piece saying this is no way to approve the new start treaty. in -- in his opinion piece mr. radimaker said senate critics of new start have largely been cut out of the process. and i know this from personal

Roger F. Wicker

7:27:00 to 7:27:21( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: experience, madam president as a member of the foreign relations committee. he goes on to say all but two republicans on the foreign relations committee formally asked the administration to share with them the negotiating record of the treaty. they were told to know even though there is precedent for accommodating such requests.

Roger F. Wicker

7:27:22 to 7:27:43( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: a simple request that could have been accommodated perhaps could have allayed some of the concerns that we have. now, in another op-ed mr. radamaker on december 2 of this -- of december 10 of this year said start won't stop nuclear proliferation and he

Roger F. Wicker

7:27:44 to 7:28:04( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: points out the claim that progress and the u.s.-russian arms control will help stop countries like iran from getting nuclear weapons isn't just an argument offered in new start, it's also one of the key premises underlying president obama's embrace of nuclear disarmament. there's just one problem

Roger F. Wicker

7:28:05 to 7:28:26( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: according to mr. radamaker the notion that faster disarm yt will lead to greater progress of nuclear proliferation has never added up. and then further, i would quote from a september 8, 2010, "wall street journal" piece by john

Roger F. Wicker

7:28:27 to 7:28:48( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: bolton, a senior fellow at the american enterprise institute an former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security from 2001 to 2005. secretary bolton robes the treaty's -- observes the

Roger F. Wicker

7:28:49 to 7:29:09( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: treaty's concern to outmoated limits on weapons launchers which would require the united states, but not russia to dismantle existing delivery systems is a problem according to mr. bolton. he goes on to say this could cripple -- this could cripple america's long-range

Roger F. Wicker

7:29:10 to 7:29:30( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: conventional war led delivery capability while constraining our nuclear flexibility equipment we will pay for this -- flexibility. we will pay for this in the future conflicts entirely unrelated to russia. so i would say to my colleagues

Roger F. Wicker

7:29:31 to 7:29:51( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: the jury is still out on this issue. these are experienced public servants and experts and -- and current observers of the international scene and the nuclear negotiation process.

Roger F. Wicker

7:29:52 to 7:30:16( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: and they have given us words that give me pause, madam president. and make me think that there's no reason to rush into a hasty ratification of this treaty.

Roger F. Wicker

7:30:17 to 7:30:37( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: with regard to the process, hearings first started in may of this year. i was one of the foreign relations committee members to request nine witnesses we believed were important and necessary to cover the extent of our concerns. this request was denied.

Roger F. Wicker

7:30:38 to 7:30:58( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: there's no reason, madam president, why such a request would have been denied. in 12 hearings, there were two witnesses who spoke in opposition to this treaty. members of the minority party

Roger F. Wicker

7:30:59 to 7:31:20( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: requested others, but it nowhere came anywhere near the normal precedent given to the minority to have at least one witness on each panel. i was concerned that no former national lab directors were invited to testify. it is essential that an appropriate amount of time be

Roger F. Wicker

7:31:21 to 7:31:41( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: spent on the senate floor considering this treaty. members who have serious concerns must be permitted the opportunity to offer amendments that would address the full range of problems. i would simply point out this is the last quote of this speech

Roger F. Wicker

7:31:42 to 7:32:02( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: today, madam president. in endorsing the start treaty, "the washington post" on november 19 said that positive steps had been made and the treaty ought to be approved. but it went on to say the editorial board of "the washington post" went on to say but no calamity will befall the

Roger F. Wicker

7:32:03 to 7:32:25( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: united states if the senate does not act this year. i couldn't agree more with the "washington post." it will not be a calamity if we're given adequate time to fully discuss, to fully examine, to fully debate all of the ramifications about an issue so

Roger F. Wicker

7:32:26 to 7:32:46( Edit History Discussion )

Roger F. Wicker: profound as our nuclear weapons capability. the worst thing this body could do is shirk our constitutional responsibility by rushing this through in the final days of this lame-duck session simply to check the box before the new team, the new newly elected team

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid