Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said Wednesday that he is going to hold the nuclear security of the United States hostage in order to pass the tax cuts for rich. Kyl said Obama must reach a deal on extending the Bush tax cuts by Monday if a nuclear arms treaty has a chance of passing the Senate by the end of the year:
Kyl said if negotiators don’t reach a deal on the Bush taxes within a week “then you’re not going to have time to do START.”… The emerging conventional wisdom has been that Senate Republicans would agree to ratify START if Obama and Democratic leaders agreed to a temporary extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
One exasperated GOP aide admitted to the National Review “the two are completely unrelated.” Instead of just allowing a vote to go through and approaching the treaty and US national security, as something above the standard political games of domestic politics, Kyl is willing to potentially risk nuclear security so people making over $250,000 have a tax cut.
After Kyl signaled that he would obstruct the treaty earlier this month, the entire top brass of the U.S. military, and a who’s who of Republican foreign policy leaders (including Colin Powell today), as well as the editorial boards of more than 40 newspapers across the country, ripped Kyl directly for trying to obstruct the treaty and for putting politics above nuclear security. Kyl and Senate Republicans now appear to have backed down and seem supportive of a START vote in the lame duck.