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Republicans blast Obama’s push for nuclear test ban at UN

Republicans have warned US President Barack Obama not to sign up for any international obligations against nuclear weapons tests that the Senate has previously rejected.

In a letter to Obama on Thursday, a group of 33 Senate Republicans threatened to withhold funding for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, an international treaty prohibiting nuclear tests, if he takes action at the UN that would circumvent the Senate’s power to ratify treaties, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“We urge you to respect your constitutional obligations and warn that if you do not, your efforts at the United Nations on this issue are likely to set back any supposed progress on achieving a testing ban,” the senators wrote.

Former President Bill Clinton signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1996, but the Senate declined to ratify it in a vote three years later.

The Obama administration has been pressing the Senate to ratify the treaty and is planning action at the UN Security Council to keep its spirit alive.

The White House contends that the UN push would not impose any new legally-binding obligations on the US or replace ratification by the Senate.

The administration is proposing a UN Security Council resolution calling for an end to nuclear tests and a better detection system to monitor nuclear explosions around the world.

The senators wrote that the US does not need the international detection system because it operates one of its own.

The US has had a national moratorium on nuclear testing in place since 1992.10caa436-83a7-49aa-96df-896895247222

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