The Corner

Scott Brown ‘Yea’ on New START

After playing coy with reporters all day, the Massachusetts Republican recently announced that he will support the arms-reduction treaty.

Brown told reporters following a closed-session intelligence briefing that he had given the issue “due diligence” and hoped to see the treaty ratified.  “I believe it’s something that’s important for our country, and I believe it’s a good move forward to deal with our national security issues,” he said.

Brown is one of eight Republicans to announce that they are at least leaning toward backing the treary. If that count holds, Democrats will need just a couple more GOP votes to get to the 67 required for ratification. A cloture vote is expected on Tuesday.

In addition to Brown, Republican Sens. Dick Lugar (Ind.), George Voinovich (Ohio), Bob Bennett (Utah), Judd Gregg (N.H.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine) and Thad Cochran (Miss.) are expected to back the treaty.

Key GOP holdouts include Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.). Senate aides acknowledged that unless one of these on-the-fence Republicans comes out strongly against ratification, Democrats will likely have the votes they need for passage.

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