Obama’s high profile assignment on ethics and lobbying reform (and the sideshow this week with McCain)generated some e-mail asking about what other legislation he is working on. A central interest of Obama’s is eliminating the threat of conventional and nuclear weapons. Today, Obama attended a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on this very subject chaired by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.). Read on for more………
Background: While the flap between Obama and McCain scored some headlines, he’s been working quite well with Lugar. Obama is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and he traveled to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan last August with Lugar. Lugar has long been working on programs to encourage countries to get rid of or secure stockpiles of WMD and conventional arms.
Legislation: Lugar and Obama have a bill pending. I have not read it yet. This from Obama press deputy Tommy Vietor: “ the Lugar-Obama cooperative threat reduction program..is designed to keep non-nuclear weapons such as artillery shells used in roadside bombs or shoulder-launched missiles out of the hands of terrorists.”
From Lugar: This morning Lugar said, regarding another portion of their bill, it “would strengthen the ability of America’s friends and allies to detect and intercept illegal shipments of weapons and materials of mass destruction.”