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Senate Proceeding on Dec 21st, 2010 :: 2:35:10 to 2:49:45
Total video length: 13 hours 34 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Bob Corker

2:35:07 to 2:35:28( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: been involved in the markup, i'd like for everyone in this body to know that this resolution of ratification, thanks to the goodwill of the chairman of our committee, was mostly drafted by republicans. it was drafted by -- with the approval, certainly, of the chairman, but this was drafted

Bob Corker

2:35:10 to 2:49:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bob Corker

Bob Corker

2:35:29 to 2:35:49( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: by senator lugar, by myself, senator kyl had tremendous input into this, senator isakson. and so the resolution of ratification that we're amending today had tremendous republican input. as a matter of fact, it was done mostly by republicans. as a matter of fact, this resolution of ratification is

Bob Corker

2:35:50 to 2:36:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: called the lugar-corker resolution. this is what came out of committee. one of the things that has concerned people on both sides of the aisle has been this whole issue of modernization. and, mr. president, i have seen something of beauty over the last year. about a year ago, i met with senator kyl in the senate dining

Bob Corker

2:36:11 to 2:36:31( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: room, and we began looking at the modernization of our nuclear arsenal. many people have focused during this debate on the fact that we have 1,550 warheads as a limitation, if you will, in this treaty, but they fail to realize we have over 5,000 warheads in our nuclear arsenal, all of which, all of which needs to be

Bob Corker

2:36:32 to 2:36:52( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: modernized, all of which is getting ready to be obsolete if we don't make the investment. as a matter of fact, the presiding officer now visited some of the labs throughout our country. there are seven stilts that we have in this country that deal with our nuclear arsenal, and many of those are becoming obsolete and need to have needed investment.

Bob Corker

2:36:53 to 2:37:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i have watched senator kyl over the last year in a very methodical way. under his leadership with me as his wing man and others working to make sure that the proper modernization of our nuclear arsenal takes place, and there is no question in my mind, there is no question in my mind, if it weren't for the discussion of this treaty, we would not have

Bob Corker

2:37:15 to 2:37:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: the commitments that we have today on modernization. mr. president, this is the 1251 report that is required by defense authorization. this has been updateed twice, due to the efforts of republicans led by senator kyl who has done an outstanding job. this has been updated twice.

Bob Corker

2:37:37 to 2:37:57( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: first we had a five-year update about 60 days ago. we had a ten-year update that came thereafter. this is our nuclear modernization plan. and i'd like to have unanimous consent to enter this into the record as part of this debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. corker: mr. president, the reason i'd like to enter that

Bob Corker

2:37:58 to 2:38:18( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: into the record, over the next ten years, what this calls for is $86 billion, $86 billion worth of investment throughout the seven facilities throughout our country on nuclear armaments, and over $100 billion on the delivery mechanisms to

Bob Corker

2:38:19 to 2:38:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: ensure that these warheads are deliverable. so one might say well, that's great, but how do we -- how are we going to be sure? how are we going to be sure that the appropriators actually ask for the money? mr. president, i'd also like to enter into the record a letter that was signed on december 16

Bob Corker

2:38:41 to 2:39:01( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: by chairman inouye, dianne feinstein, thad cochran and lamar alexander. mr. president, i would like unanimous consent for this to be entered into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: mr. president, that letter says to the president that they will ask for the moneys necessary to modernize our nuclear arsenal, that agree to ask for that money as

Bob Corker

2:39:02 to 2:39:23( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: part of their appropriations bill. so then you might say well, what about the president? what about will the president actually in his budget ask congress to ask for that money? so, mr. president, -- or presiding officer, i'd like to ask unanimous consent to have a letter from the president of the

Bob Corker

2:39:24 to 2:39:45( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: united states on december 20 to the appropriators that just wrote the letter i mentioned saying that he, in fact, would ask for those funds in the budget that he puts forth in the next few months. i would like unanimous conse for this to be entered into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: mr. president, there

Bob Corker

2:39:46 to 2:40:06( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: has been a lot of discussion, there has been a lot of discussion about many things, and i'm going to move to missile defense in just one moment, but i don't think there is anything that as it relates to nuclear issues threat engs our national -- threatens our national security more than our not investing in the arsenal that we have, and i think what we have seen here is a commitment both by appropriators

Bob Corker

2:40:07 to 2:40:29( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: on the senate side, the president of the united states, those within the nnsa and our military complex believing that modernization has to occur, and candidly, the only thing today that would keep us, keep us from actually doing modernization the way it needs to be done would be republican appropriators. so i just want to say to my friends on this side of the

Bob Corker

2:40:30 to 2:40:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: aisle that it seems to me that through senator kyl's efforts and the efforts of people working in a cooperative way, we have been very successful in getting the commitments that we need on modernization. and by the way, i would add i do not think we would be talking about the issue of modernization today, something that hasn't

Bob Corker

2:40:51 to 2:41:11( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: been done for many, many years to this scale, we would not be talking about that if it weren't for discussion of this start treaty. and so, mr. president, what i would say to you is i think we have enhanced our country's national security just by having this debate. and, mr. president, i would say that we have sought and received

Bob Corker

2:41:12 to 2:41:32( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: commitments that otherwise we would not have received if it weren't for discussion of this treaty, and the two are very related. i've heard a lot of people say well, there is no real relationship between the two. there is a lot of relationship between the two, in that i think that americans want to know if we're going to limit ourselves to 1,550 warheads, that we know

Bob Corker

2:41:33 to 2:41:53( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that they operate, that we know that they can be delivered, and that we know that the thousands of warheads that we have that are not deployed are warheads that will be kept up. we've talked a lot about missile defense, mr. president, and i just want to say i have been through every word of this treaty, i have been through every word of the annexes, i

Bob Corker

2:41:54 to 2:42:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: have been through every word of the protocols, i have been in countless briefings, and, mr. president, i'd like to say that there is nothing in this treaty that limits our missile defense other than the fact that we cannot convert icbm launchers that we use on the offense for missile defense, something that

Bob Corker

2:42:16 to 2:42:37( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: our military leaders do not want to do. that is the most expensive way of creating a missile defense system. that's something they do not want to do. so there have been a lot of discussions brought up because in the preamble, something was stated that was nonbinding, and so how do we clear that up? where's the letter?

Bob Corker

2:42:38 to 2:42:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: we clear that up by virtue of a letter that the president has sent to us absolutely committing , absolutely committing to the missile defense system that is now being deployed in europe, absolutely committing to a national defense system, and people might say well, but there is no commitment.

Bob Corker

2:42:59 to 2:43:19( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: mr. president, i have reasonable assurance that by the time this debate ends, that we will codify as part of the resolution of ratification, we will codify the operative words in the president's language committing to all four phases of that missile system in europe, commit

Bob Corker

2:43:20 to 2:43:42( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: to go those things we need to do as it relates to our national defense system, and making that a part of the resolution of ratification. mr. president, -- or presiding officer, what i would say to you is i doubt very seriously that we would have received the types of commitments, industry dent commitments from the president

Bob Corker

2:43:43 to 2:44:04( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: as it relates to missile defense today if we weren't debating this treaty. mr. president, i'd like to ask unanimous consent that senator lamar alexander be added as a cosponsor to my amendment, amendment 4904, dealing with ensuring that the president's language becomes a part of this

Bob Corker

2:44:05 to 2:44:25( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: resolution of ratification. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: mr. president, let me come to my last paragraph by saying this: it's obviously up to us as senators, we're the ones that have the right and the responsibility and the privilege to take up the types of matters

Bob Corker

2:44:26 to 2:44:47( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that we're taking up today. it's up to us to do the due diligence, to have the intelligence briefings, to look at our nuclear posture reviews, to look at what this treaty itself says, to look what our force structure is. that's -- that's our responsibility, and it's up to

Bob Corker

2:44:48 to 2:45:11( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: each of us, the 100 of us in this body, to decide whether we ratify this treaty. but i think it's also at least interesting to get input from others. and one of the things that our side of the aisle likes to do and say is we like to listen to military expleerdz what they have to -- military leaders and what they have to say about issues relating to war, afghanistan, iraq, and certainly

Bob Corker

2:45:12 to 2:45:33( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: the issue of how we enter into nuclear treaties with other countries. mr. president, i'd like to ask unanimous consent that we enter into the record today a letter to senator kerry from the joint chiefs of staff talking about their firm, firm commitment for the start treaty on the basis

Bob Corker

2:45:34 to 2:45:59( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that it increases our national security. i'd like to ask unanimous consent that this letter, dated december 20, from admiral mike mullen, chiefs, be entered into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: mr. president, i'd like to point out, too, just for clarification that if you look at the makeup of our joint

Bob Corker

2:46:01 to 2:46:21( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: chiefs, admiral mullen, general cartwright, general schwartz, general casey, admiral roughhead, every single one of these gentlemen was appointed by a republican president. in addition to them, we have general amos. my sense is, based on some of the comments he's made over the

Bob Corker

2:46:22 to 2:46:44( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: course of time, he would have republican leanings, but each of these people, each of these people have firmly stated their support for this treaty. and then in closing, mr. president, i'd like to also add and ask unanimous consent that the statement of robert gates -- again, appointed by a

Bob Corker

2:46:45 to 2:47:06( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: republican president -- head of our defense department, where yesterday he said, "the treaty will enhance the strategic stability at lower numbers of nuclear weapons, provide a rigorous inspection regime, including on-site access to russian missile silos, strengthen our leadership role in stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and provide the

Bob Corker

2:47:07 to 2:47:27( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: necessary flexibility to structure our strategic nuclear forces to best meet the national security interests. this treaty stands on its merits and its prompt ratification will strengthen u.s. national security." mr. president, i'd like to ask unanimous consent that this be entered into the record.

Bob Corker

2:47:28 to 2:47:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: there's been a lot of discussion, mr. president, about the role of the senate in this ratification. there are a lot of things that go into the ratification of a treaty, and i've laid out a number of things that we've

Bob Corker

2:47:49 to 2:48:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: discussed that are relevant to the ratification of this treaty. as we move through a process like this, mr. president, i try to make sure that all of the t's are crossed and i's are dotted that can possibly be crossed and dotted to ensure that me, as a

Bob Corker

2:48:10 to 2:48:30( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: united states senator, feels comfortable that the type of agreement that we're entering into is one in the best interest of our country. mr. president, i have done that over the last year working on nuclear modernization, and, again, my hat's off to senator kyl and his great leadership in that regard.

Bob Corker

2:48:31 to 2:48:52( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i have done that over the course of this last year as we've looked at missile defense. we spent incredible amounts of time in our committee making sure that people on my side of the aisle had tremendous input into the resolution of ratification. we've worked through to make sure that if we're going to have less warheads deployed -- again, we have thousands more that are

Bob Corker

2:48:53 to 2:49:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: not deployed -- that we, in fact, can assure the american people that they'll operate, that they're actually there for our national security. so, mr. president, the question becomes to me, and for all of us -- all of us -- who care so deeply about our country's

Bob Corker

2:49:16 to 2:49:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: national security, is, will we say "yes" to yes? mr. president, i firmly believe that signing this treaty, that ratifying this treaty, and that all the things that we've done over the course of time as a result of this treaty is in our

Bob Corker

2:49:37 to 2:49:45( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: country's national interest. and i'm here today to state my full support for this treaty. i look forward to its ratification.

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