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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, chastised the treaty’s opponents, saying “their arguments against the treaty had no basis in fact” and that it “does not change United States law.”

Mr. Reid has vowed to bring the measure up for another vote in the upcoming 113th Congress, which convenes next month. But while the Senate’s Democratic majority will grow by two next year, three Republicans who supported the treaty are leaving office in January, offering little hope it will be successful the next go-around.

The Senate’s treatment of measure also means Mr. Reid will have little hope to advance more controversial treaties, such as the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty, which establishes international laws governing the maritime rights of countries. It entered into force in 1994 and has been ratified by more than 160 countries.