- Associated Press - Sunday, December 12, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior White House adviser David Axelrod said Sunday that he thinks the Senate will vote on a nuclear treaty with Russia before the end of the year and that there is support to ratify the arms pact.

Mr. Axelrod calls the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) “a critical piece” for U.S. national security.

The accord would place limits on the number of nuclear warheads each country is allowed to possess and would provide for a new inspection and verification program.

Some Republicans are skeptical about the terms of the treaty and say there isn’t enough time left on the Senate calendar to give the treaty the attention it requires.

Mr. Axelrod said ratification will help the United States in terms of cooperation with Russia on issues such as Iran and North Korea.

He told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “we have to get it done. We can’t delay that.”