WASHINGTON — Momentum is building in the US Senate toward the ratification of the New START arms control treaty with Russia, with the decision this morning of Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee to back the treaty.
“I am convinced that Americans are safer and more secure with the New START treaty than without it,” Alexander announced in a floor speech this morning.
The treaty would reduce strategic warheads by about a third on each side, to 1,550, and set up protocols for inspections of each nation’s warheads.
The treaty needs 67 votes to be ratified. The entire Democratic caucus is expected to support it, meaning it needs at least nine Republican votes to be ratified. A rough count based on the public statements of Republican senators puts the treaty on the cusp of having enough votes to pass.
Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown announced last evening that he will support New START.
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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.