55 Georgia Legislators Urge Ratification of New START Treaty

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

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.

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.

Sen. Nan Orrock represents the 36th Senate District, which includes portions of Fulton County. She may be reached by phone at 404.463.8054 or via e-mail at nan.orrock@senate.ga.gov.

For Immediate Release:
December 21, 2010
For Information Contact:
Natalie Strong, Director
Kallarin Richards, Deputy Director