A group of members of Congress, led by Ellen Tauscher, sent a letter to President Bush, urging him to "carefully consider extending START in its current form".
The treaty, which was signed in July 1991 and entered into force in 1994, is set to expire on December 5, 2009 unless there is an agreement to extend its term. It may appear that the extension can be left to the next U.S. administration to deal with, but this appearance is wrong - the treaty requires that
No later than one year before the expiration of the 15-year period, the Parties shall meet to consider whether this Treaty will be extended. (Article XVII.2)Unless the Bush administration agrees to "meet" to consider the extension (and agree to it), the treaty will expire. So far, the U.S. administration has shown no signs of its willingness to start the extension discussion. The latest U.S.-Russian declaration on disarmament explicitly talks about "post-START" arrangements, rather than about keeping the treaty in some form.
Russia has been given up on the START Treaty as well - the recent test of the MIRVed Topol-M missile, dubbed as RS-24, makes a straightforward extension of the treaty all but impossible.