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Senate Approves New START Treaty

Neon Tommy |
December 22, 2010 | 2:15 p.m. PST

The Senate on Wednesday approved the new START nuclear arms control treaty with Russia by a bipartisan 71-26 vote, signaling a major foreign policy victory for the Obama Administration and capping what has been a surprisingly productive and successful lame-duck congress session.

“This is the most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades,” President Obama said after the vote. “It will make us safer and will reduce our nuclear arsenals along with Russia’s.”

The news arms control treaty is an attempt to improve U.S. relations with Russia while also reducing the nuclear arsenals. It also seeks to curb the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries such as North Korea and Iran.

"With this treaty, we send a message to Iran and North Korea that the international community remains united to restrain the nuclear ambitions of countries that operate outside the law," said Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts).

Thirteen Republicans broke party ranks to vote in favor of the treaty, while Senate Democrats were unanimous in their support. Three Senators did not vote.

After the vote, some Republicans criticized the Senate for the passing the treaty. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) called the President's vision of nuclear-free world "cockamamie," while Sen. Jim DeMint said the treaty was "a continued pattern of appeasement."

President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the nuclear arms control treaty back in April.

Read more from Reuters here, from the New York Times here and from CNN here.



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