By The Hill Editors - 04/13/10 10:21 AM EDT
In recent weeks, she has called on Congress to back a new arms treaty with Russia, stressed that the U.S. will keep nuclear weapons as long as there are countries that have access to weapons of mass destruction and tiptoed around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to skip this week’s conference in Washington on nuclear issues.
conference, aimed at convincing world leaders to tackle the threat of
nuclear arms falling into the hands of terrorists, could be a defining
moment in Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.
most pressing on Clinton’s mind is convincing the necessary two-thirds
of the Senate to approve the U.S.-Russia nuclear arms pact.
a Friday speech in Louisville, Ky., with Senate Minority Leader Mitch
McConnell (R-Ky.) in the audience, Clinton said the new Strategic Arms
Reduction Treaty (START) merits bipartisan support. She said the START
agreement “is the latest chapter in the history of American nuclear
responsibility, a chapter that has been co-authored by Ronald Reagan,
George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and even further back.”
will need at least eight Republicans to sign on — and that will not be
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said on “Fox News Sunday”
this weekend that Clinton does not yet have 67 yes votes.
order to get the votes, Lieberman said, the Obama administration should
commit to modernizing America’s existing nuclear stockpile and reject
Russia’s demand that the U.S. halt plans for a European missile defense
As she is looking for senators to endorse the treaty,
Clinton will need to deal with speculation that the president will tap
her for the Supreme Court. The White House on Monday sought to dispel
that possibility, but it will still be a topic of conversation in the
halls of the Senate this week.