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Letter to Congress on Rehberg Amendment

Oppose Rehberg #59 Amendment to Undermine New START Treaty

May 17, 2012

Dear Representative,

We are writing to urge you to oppose an amendment that would add yet another unnecessary provision to the NDAA to undermine the U.S. ability to implement the 2010 New START agreement. Other similar provisions in the bill (Secs. 1053-1059) have led the White House to issue a veto threat because they would “impinge on the President's ability to implement the New START Treaty and to set U.S. nuclear weapons policy.”

The amendment offered by Reps. Rehberg (MT) and Lummis (WY) would block U.S. implementation of New START unless the Russian Federation makes “a commensurate reduction, conversion, or decommissioning pursuant to the levels set forth under such treaty.” New START, which was approved by a bipartisan majority in the Senate, establishes common, verifiable limits on strategic deployed warheads (1,550 each) and deployed delivery vehicles (700 each) that must be met by 2018. At the United States insistence, New START allows each side to implement the treaty at its own pace and to structure its forces as it sees fit.

The amendment attempts to impose a one-for-one arms reduction implementation process that is impractical and militarily unnecessary. Further, the amendment attempts to protect the nuclear delivery systems in the districts of the authors from reductions into the indefinite future regardless of decisions about security needs and requirements that might be made by this or future administrations.

We strongly urge you to oppose the Rehberg #59 amendment. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Carol Blythe, President
Alliance of Baptists

Susan Gordon, Director
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability

Terri S. Lodge, Director for Nuclear Security
American Security Project

Eric Sapp, Executive Director
American Values Network

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director
Arms Control Association

Ambassador Robert Grey, Director
Bipartisan Security Group

Katie Heald, Coordinator
Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World

Melissa A. Kaplan, Msc, Deputy Director of Government Relations
Citizens for Global Solutions

Joni Arends, Executive Director
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Santa Fe, NM

T. Michael McNulty, SJ, Justice and Peace Director
Conference of Major Superiors of Men

John Isaacs, Executive Director
Council for a Livable World

David Culp, Legislative Representative
Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers)

Bobbie Paul, Executive Director
Georgia Women’s Action for New Direction

Dr. Paul F. Walker, Director of Security and Sustainability
Global Green USA

Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, Director
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office

David Krieger, President
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Jay Coghlan, Executive Director
Nuclear Watch New Mexico

Marie Dennis, Co- president
Pax Christi International

Kevin Martin, Executive Director
Peace Action

Alicia Godsberg, Executive Director
Peace Action New York State

Jon Rainwater, Executive Director
Peace Action West

Jerry Stein, Coordinator of the Board
Peace Farm, Amarillo, TX

Catherine Thomasson, MD, Executive Director
Physicians for Social Responsibility

Joel Rubin, Director of Policy and Government Affairs
Ploughshares Fund

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director
Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore, CA

Lisbeth Gronlund, Co-Director and Senior Scientist, Global Security Program
Union of Concerned Scientists

Rev. Michael Neuroth, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Church of Christ

James E. Winkler, General Secretary
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

Susan Shaer, Executive Director
Women’s Action for New Directions

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