WASHINGTON – US Senator Scott Brown, a Massachusetts Republican, was among nine GOP senators to vote in favor of moving forward to debate on the ratification of the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, one of President Obama’s top priorities for the remainder of the lame-duck session of Congress.
“Senator Brown believes there are still flaws in the treaty, such as the modernization of our own existing weapons, verification and missile defense, and is hopeful these issues will be worked out in a full, fair, and open debate and amendment process,” Brown’s office said in a statement after the vote.
The White House and senior Democrats have expressed confidence that they have the 67 votes needed for ratification -- two-thirds of the Senate -- and Obama has said he is prepared to delay a planned holiday vacation until the treaty is completed.
"We believe we should stay here as long as it takes to get this treaty ratified, and we are prepared to do so," said Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat.
The treaty would cut warheads on both sides and set up procedures for inspections
Several Republicans have argued that the limited time available in the lame-duck session makes it difficult to give the treaty the consideration it deserved.
With material from the Associated Press.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.