With the clock running out on a new US-Russian arms treaty before the previous Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, expires on December 5, a senior White House official said Sunday said that the difficulty of the task might mean temporarily bypassing the Senate’s constitutional role in ratifying treaties by enforcing certain aspects of a new deal on an executive levels and a “provisional basis” until the Senate ratifies the treaty.
“The most ideal situation would be to finish it in time that it could be submitted to the Senate so that it can be ratified,” said White House Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction, Security and Arms Control Gary Samore. “If we’re not able to do that, we’ll have to look at arrangements to continue some of the inspection provisions, keep them enforced in a provisional basis, while the Senate considers the treaty.”
Samore said administration lawyers are exploring the “different options that are available. One option is that both sides could agree to continue the inspections by executive agreement; that would work on our side. On the Russian side, as I understand it, that would require Duma approval.”
The fact that the administration is preparing for such an extraordinary measure shows just how much pressure the two administrations are under to arrive at an agreement before the 18-year-old treaty expires.
Of course there is this tiny obstacle in Aricle II Section 2;
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;