Big News! Senate committee passes nuclear treaty

I’m climbing out from under an enormous pile of work because I want to get you this really quick but crucial update on the fruits of our labor over this entire summer.

Just hours ago the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 14-4 in favor of the New START Treaty – and the calls, emails, and letters that you helped us generate made it happen.

Peace Action West helped bring together hundreds of groups to hone strategy on everything from direct lobbying, to media and editorial outreach, and of course, grassroots mobilizing. We mounted a huge national phonebank, coordinating with 24 organizations across the country, and generating over 4700 phone calls into Senate offices in just a few weeks. I’ve been hearing that Senate staffers are complaining about their phones ‘ringing off the hook!’

That sure makes me smile.

We’ve been targeting Republican members of the Committee, to show that there is a strong bipartisan majority in favor of this treaty as they send it to the Senate floor. And, this morning, Senators Lugar, Corker and Isakson moved across the aisle to join the Democrats in voting yes.

The fact that 3 Republicans voted in support of the treaty is fantastic news! In the middle of this vicious, partisan political climate we got a bipartisan vote on the first disarmament treaty in decades. The importance of bipartisanship is far more than symbolic. We are going need it to get the 67 votes we need to ultimately ratify this treaty.

And that brings me to the next phase of this campaign.

The current Senate session, which ends October 8th, is our best chance to get this treaty ratified, and in order to do that we need even more Republican support. It will take 8 Republicans to win, and even Corker and Isakson have not committed to voting yes on the final ratification yet.

Here’s why we are giving this modest little treaty everything we’ve got. We want to eliminate every last nuclear weapon in the world, and this treaty lays the groundwork for taking much larger steps. Russia and the US have 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons, and it’s crucial we lead by example, by making those reductions. On the other hand, allowing this treaty to fall victim to the Senate’s partisan games will suck the oxygen out of efforts for bigger steps, like a comprehensive test ban.

So, we are rallying our organizers to keep up the fight. We have only three weeks left, and we are continuing the coordinated, strategic effort to let key Republicans Senators know their constituents expect them to support New START. With your help, we will ramp up the phonebanking, the email alerts, the media outreach and the lobbying meetings.

Every moment counts, because the Senate sessions ends on October 8th. After that, we may have to wait until after the elections, and face a much tougher Senate. So we have to keep up the pressure for a vote as soon as possible.

For now I’m off to grab a drink with some colleagues and make a toast to this victory. Then it’s back to the ol’ pile of work, because there is much more to do. I’ll be letting you know when I need your help, very soon.

26 replies »

  1. Thank you for your tireless efforts to make our world a safer place. This is extremely exciting!! Let’s keep the momentum going!!

  2. Great news! Thanks for all your work on this crucial movement toward a sane safe world. Thanks for making it easy to participate!
    Ruthann Duncan

  3. Congratulations! Thanks for your efforts! Please keep up the important work, as will the many sane people who are with you on this.

  4. So long we have waited for progress on nuclear disarmament! Keep up the good work and lets all work together to help move the process another step forward in the Senate.

  5. I’ve just got to tell you that I love you. You’ve worked so hard for the we AMERICANS and things are really happening.

  6. Wow! I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from you all. It’s been a very busy and sometimes exhausting summer, but this vote and your encouragement makes it all worth it!

    And while I appreciate all the ‘thank you’s’ and ‘congratulations,’ it’s really all of you, the Peace Action West supporters and members who deserve the credit. We couldn’t have accomplished any of this without you and all of your support over the years and decades! So, thank you!!

    Alright, back to the grindstone for me. I look forward to having more good news for you in the coming months!

  7. Thank you, Danke Schon, Merci, Shukran, Gracias, from all over the world for your efforts to make it a safer place.

  8. Thank you so much! Do not send me any more emails than you already send me though. But GREAT JOB! Thank you!