- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Senate on track to ratify US-Russia nuclear pact
Question of the Day
At least nine Republicans have announced publicly that they will vote for the accord, with several Republicans coming on board Tuesday.
“I think it’s going to pass and more than just pass,” Bob Corker, one of the Republicans backing the treaty told reporters.
Ratification would deliver a foreign policy boost for Obama and his efforts to improve cooperation with Russia, just weeks after his Democratic Party suffered major losses in congressional elections. Obama has secured several political victories in the postelection session _ overwhelming bipartisan passage of the tax deal he cut with Republicans and repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military _ and the treaty was the centerpiece of his national security agenda.
Also declaring support for the treaty Tuesday, was Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennesssee, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, who bucked opposition by the top two Republicans in his announcement Tuesday.
The White House and senior Democrats have pressed for a vote before January when Republicans increase their numbers in the Senate by five, raising doubts about the prospects for the treaty.
In signaling his support for the treaty, Alexander said it would leave “our country with enough nuclear warheads to blow any attacker to kingdom come.” He said he was reassured by a letter from Obama, in which he reiterated his commitment to modernizing the remaining nuclear arsenal with projected spending of $85 billion over 10 years.
“My administration will pursue these programs and capabilities for as long as I am president,” Obama wrote in letters to Republican Sens. Alexander and Thad Cochran and Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Daniel Inouye.
Senior Democrats were pushing for a decisive vote to cut off debate and set the stage for the final vote. Republicans and Democrats were discussing amendments to the accompanying resolution, not the treaty, that would deal with Republican problems with missile defense and build support for the agreement.
The United States and Russia negotiated the New START pact to cap nuclear weapons and restart weapons inspections in the spirit of U.S. efforts to reset the relationship between the former Cold War foes.
The White House has seen steady progress in its efforts to persuade Republican lawmakers. On Monday, Sen. Scott Brown announced he would support the treaty. In recent days, Brown had received a call from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who also heard from Clinton, announced his support Tuesday.
Obama, who delayed his holiday vacation, lobbied senators by phone as he pressed to complete the treaty before January. Vice President Joe Biden also called lawmakers.
Bolstering Obama’s argument for quick action, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sent a letter to lawmakers reiterating support for the accord.
“This treaty enhances our ability to do that which we in the military have been charged to do: protect and defend the citizens of the United States. I am confident in its success as I am in its safeguards. The sooner it is ratified, the better,” Mullen wrote.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- ISIL captured 52 U.S.-made howitzers; artillery weapons cost 500K each
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq