New Russian Arms Treaty Will Face Senate Scrutiny

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President Obama “on Friday heralded a new 10-year arms control deal with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles by nearly one-third, setting the stage for what could be an arduous treaty ratification fight in the Senate,” Congressional Quarterly reports.

Obama has made nuclear nonproliferation one of his major national security priorities. But the two-thirds majority required to ratify the treaty (67 votes if all 100 senators are on hand) might be hard to reach, as Republican senators approach any deal with skepticism.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell , R-Ky., and Minority Whip Jon Kyl , R-Ariz., wrote Obama this month indicating Republicans would not support any START agreement that put limits on missile defense. According to the White House, this deal would include no such limits.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) “said his panel will hold hearings on the pact before Memorial Day.”

(credit image – associated press)

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