WASHINGTON — Senator John Kerry claimed today there is a “growing bipartisan momentum” toward the ratification of the New START arms treaty with Russia, which Kerry has been pushing for months as head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Every single day there’s a new, respected, Republican voice urging the Senate to ratify New START, and every day that goes by without action is one more day without our inspectors on the ground in Russia,” said Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, in a statement. “We’re working across the aisle in good faith to ensure it happens before the end of the year, and we’ll keep pressing so the treaty can be fully debated on Senate floor in the coming days.”
Three Republican senators spoke out positively for the treaty today:
US Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both from Maine, issued statements supporting the treaty. And Arizona Republican John McCain said in a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies that the Senate is “very close” to an agreement on START, according to a report by Politico.
An aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today that Reid intends to bring the treaty to the floor for a ratification vote before the end of the year.
The office of US Senator Scott Brown, Republican from Massachusetts, said yesterday that Brown’s position on START is unchanged, and that Brown wants the Senate to deal with tax and spending issues before taking up other matters. The senator “continues to review START and is hopeful that before the vote on START happens, several flaws are worked out, including the modernization of our own existing weapons and assurances that it will not affect our missile defense,” according to a statement from Brown’s office.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.