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Washington, DC –The Biden Administration has reportedly decided it will sign a clean, five-year extension of New START with Russia. The current deal is set to expire on February 5th. The arms control treaty, which entered into force in February 2010, limits the strategic nuclear forces deployed by both nations and has served to reduce nuclear tensions between the two countries. However, the Biden Administration chose not to utilize the treaty’s optional extension provision that allows both countries to update the agreement to reflect the changing security environment. Below is a statement from House Foreign Affairs Lead Republican Michael McCaul and House Armed Services Lead Republican Mike Rogers.

“It’s frustrating the Biden Administration is wasting an opportunity to negotiate a stronger version of New START that includes non-strategic nuclear weapons, new weapon systems not covered by the original treaty, and a stronger verification regime. A clean five-year extension gives Putin exactly what he asked for and causes the U.S. to lose critical leverage to bring Russia back to the negotiating table. There is still time for the administration to pursue a shorter-term extension to allow time for a more substantial negotiation, and we urge the administration to consider that route. Regardless, the U.S. must maintain and modernize our nuclear deterrent and also must begin the process to address the People’s Republic of China growing nuclear stockpiles.”