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Senate Approves New START



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The New START treaty has just passed the Senate, 71 to 26. The treaty needed 67 votes for ratification.

UPDATE: Thirteen Republicans voted to ratify the treaty: Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Bob Bennett (Utah), Scott Brown (Mass.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Judd Gregg (N.H.), Johnny Isakson (Georgia), Mike Johanns (Nebraska), Richard Lugar (Indiana), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine), and George Voinovich (Ohio).

UPDATE II: Bob Costa reports on the presser immediately following the vote: 

“Just now, at a press conference following the vote, I asked Sen. Dick Lugar (R., Ind.) whether he is surprised about the extent of GOP support. ‘I’m pleased that 13 voted for the treaty,’ he replied. ‘It is a very strong statement that President Obama made throughout the world.’ He noted that he appreciated the ‘spirited’ debate in his caucus, but shrugged aside concerns that the treaty was rushed. Even though it’s the lame duck, ‘some of us still are’ senators, he added with a smile.

“Beside Lugar, beaming, stood Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), who said ‘71 is 98’ in the Senate these days. The vote, he added, is an ‘enormous measure of credibility’ for the president on the world stage.

“Kerry also pushed back against lame-duck concerns, especially by incoming GOP senators. “They are not senators until next year,’ Kerry said, his finger thrust out. The soon-to-be members, he claimed, don’t know much about the ‘details’ of the negotiations.”



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