Kerry Wants ‘Lame-Duck’ Session Vote on START, Corker Supports New Version

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) “said today that there’s not enough time to ratify the New START nuclear reductions treaty before the elections, but there should be a chance to pass the treaty when the Senate returns to Washington in November,” The Cable reports.

“I think the reality is… to push it in the next week or two would be a mistake, given the election. So let’s just get it out of committee and hopefully set it up to do without any politics, without any election atmospherics, as a matter of national security when we come back in the lame-duck,” Kerry said in an interview Tuesday. “That’s what I’d like to see.”

Even after “the Senate returns following the November mid-term elections, there still might not be enough time to consider START, Kerry warned.”

“If the lame duck session is a one week session, I would be surprised if anything but the most simplistic things pass. If there’s a longer lame duck session, it’s possible something larger and more sweeping could pass,” he said.

Kerry said he needs only two days of Senate floor time, maybe three, to debate and then vote on the treaty.

He is “open to supporting the resolution to be put forth by [Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick] Lugar (R-IN) at Thursday’s committee hearing, rather than the version he circulated early last week.”

This modified version appears to have won the support of at least one Republican member.

Treaty supporters are hoping to get as many GOP committee votes as possible and have been working hard to address the concerns of Republican senator who will vote on Thursday.

One of those GOP senators is Bob Corker (R-TN), who said Tuesday he will cosponsor the Lugar resolution on Thursday and vote in favor of the treaty at Thursday’s committee session.

“I think we’re moving in a very good direction,” Corker told The Cable. “Based on what I know now, I certainly plan on voting it out of committee.”

(credit image – daylife/associated press)

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