Powell joins push for START treaty approval
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell urged the Senate to ratify a nuclear treaty with Russia in an appearance with President Obama on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the latest one-time Republican Secretary of State to provide his support for what has become a White House priority.
Sitting beside Obama in the Oval Office, Powell defended the new START treaty, arguing it would be a major step forward in reducing the number of nuclear weapons.
"I hope that the Senate will move quickly," Powell said.
A number of former secretaries of state, including James Baker and Henry Kissinger, have already endorsed the treaty, which has stalled in the Senate amid objections from some Republicans.
The treaty would continue most verification procedures established in a 1991 agreement that ended last December while adding new ones; it also lowers slightly to 1,550 the deployed warheads allowed under the 2002 pact, which were 1,700 to 2,200.
Powell's support was not surprising; he endorsed Obama in 2008 and has repeatedly met with the president since. Obama said the two discussed both national security issues and education.
Powell and his wife Alma lead a non-profit called the "America's Promise Alliance" that works on education issues.
Perry Bacon, Jr.
| December 1, 2010; 5:15 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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