With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pressing for quick ratification of the New START treaty, unhealthy Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) reiterated again on Wednesday there wasn’t enough time left in this lame-duck session of Congress to consider it.
Kyl — who’s been holding out for more money to modernize the nation’s nuclear research labs, treat among other things — met with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but there was no public signal of progress afterward.
“There’s a lot going on,” Kerry told reporters after the meeting in Kyl’s Capitol office. “We’re trying to make sure that there is adequate time for each of the things that have to be done. And senators don’t want to feel like they’re being cheated of that adequacy of time. They don’t want to be jammed.”
Currently at the top of Reid’s must-do agenda is a new continuing appropriations measure to fund the federal government and the tenuous deal with the White House to extend the Bush-era tax cuts and unemployment benefits.
“Throw in the other things that the leader wants to do here and you’re up against [Dec. 17], which is the date that he suggested we would leave to finally go home and have a little time before Christmas,” Kyl told reporters.
And trying to ratify the complex nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia “right up against Christmas Eve” is “not a good thing,” he said.