By a vote of 71 to 26, the Senate has ratified the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) during its current lame-duck session. All 58 Democrats voted for the treaty, in addition to 13 Republicans (three Republicans were not present for the vote). While the outcome had been in doubt for weeks, if not months, in the end Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was able to get more than the 67 votes necessary to ensure passage.
The drive by the Obama Administration to ratify the START Treaty during the Senate’s upcoming lame-duck session took a blow on Tuesday, when Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ-R) released a statement saying that he did not think the Senate would have time to vote on the treaty until the new year.
On September 30, after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 14 to 4 to send the New START Treaty to the full Senate for a vote (see the October International Debates) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton applauded Committee Chair John Kerry (MA-D) for his leadership on the issue. But ratification of the U.S.-Russia nuclear arms reduction agreement is far from certain.