Lamborn seeks to cut off funding for nuclear control deal

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) on Wednesday urged his colleagues to support legislation that would halt U.S. spending to execute a nuclear arms control agreement with Russia.

The House will vote on the amendment to the 2015 defense authorization bill on Thursday morning.

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President Obama and then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev signed the New START agreement in April 2010. The deal set a ceiling for each side's deployed strategic systems of 1,550 nuclear warheads and 700 delivery systems, with 100 platforms held in reserve. 

Lamborn’s amendment would freeze funding until Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel certifies that Moscow is “respecting Ukrainian sovereignty and is no longer violating” the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces and the Convention Armed Forces in Europe treaties, according to a Rules Committee summary. 

Lamborn said Moscow has proven itself to be “clearly not trustworthy” and labeled Russian President Vladimir Putin a “serial treaty violator.”

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, opposed Lamborn, saying that there has been no evidence that Moscow has violated the nuclear arms agreement. 

The Kremlin also still assists Washington in its efforts to secure loose fissile materials still left in Russia and around the world, he noted.

Smith warned his fellow members not to “walk away” from the pact.