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Posted at 4:27 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Kerry: START likely to get as many as 70 votes for ratification

By Felicia Sonmez

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) said Tuesday that he expects that a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia will likely get 70 votes for ratification, with a final vote slated for Wednesday afternoon.

Kerry made the remarks at a joint news conference with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) following the Senate's 67-to-28 vote to end debate on the START treaty. Five senators were not present for Tuesday's vote, including three -- Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) -- who have previously signaled their support. That puts the tentative number of votes in favor of the treaty at 70, well over the two-thirds threshold needed for ratification.

"I would say to you that in today's Washington, in today's Senate, 70 votes is yesterday's 95," Kerry said to laughter. "I feel pretty good about where we've gotten to, and we're going to continue, obviously, to have a robust debate and we look forward to the Senate doing what it does best, which is a really important, thoughtful debate about our national security concerns."

Kerry said that he and Lugar were "extraordinarily encouraged and gratified" by Tuesday's bipartisan vote. Eleven Republican senators voted in favor of ending debate, including Sens. Lugar, Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Bob Bennett (Utah), Scott Brown (Mass.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and George Voinovich (Ohio).

In addition to Gregg, Bayh and Wyden, Sens. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) were not present for Tuesday's vote.

The Senate will take up at least nine amendments on the treaty, including one by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on missile defense.

Kerry said Tuesday that "there's a lot in the McCain amendment that we're prepared to accept -- and it's a reaffirmation of some of the things that we think are already in the resolution of ratification -- but I understand the need to try to sort of frame the message in the way that Sen. McCain wants to."

Kerry added: "I think there is something that we can certainly say to Sen. McCain, 'Here's a reasonable way to do this.' It's going to be up to him to decide whether or not he thinks it accomplishes his goal and is reasonable."

By Felicia Sonmez  | December 21, 2010; 4:27 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Unlike those that came before lets hope that this admin. does not put our lights out. Our rights are under constant attack from government. Now our lives or our children's lives are being endangered. Let us for the sake of conversation say that nuclear weapons are further reduced. Then in a few years more reductions. What if the world gets back to where it once belonged and is nuclear weapon free. Then ourselves and an assortment of other powers are free to conduct wars of aggression, occupation, and genocide with impunity. Lets keep the nuclear weapons just like we should have kept all of our rights.

Posted by: mullarkeymichael | December 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Judging from some of the comments some of the posters seem to think that all of the GOP in congress are hard working blue collar types who support just the middle class. They also seem to think that the GOP in congress never ever ask for earmarks.

Posted by: Ralph_Indianapolis | December 22, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

If you live long enough , you've probably had a carbunckle or a cyst in the most painful place on your anatomy . The one upon which you sit . Well you have it removed, but sometimes the core may remain and back it comes, with a vengence . Well, such is our plight with people like Kerry, Dodd, Fwank, Pelosi and Reid . And they surely are not only a pain in the same place , but are a danger to killing the rest of the body as well. How do they last ? Well, because Earmarks are promised to the residents of the states they represent are one reason . Are those people corrupt as well as those who represent them ? You tell me. Is it wrong to sell out the rest of the country just to give your particular state a better break ? Should the rest of America have to pay for your tax break or your bridge and RR to nowhere ? People, as Puck said :" We have met the enemy, and it is us "

Posted by: puck-101 | December 22, 2010 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Senator Kerry has been quite emphatic with his assertion the preamble to the new START Treaty ‘means nothing’ and has no bearing on our missile defense capabilities. His contention that the preamble has nothing to do with the articles within the treaty its self must completely negate the text of Article V paragraph 3, which clearly cross-references the preamble and what most understand the Russian’s do believe, that the U.S. cannot replace offensive missile deployments with defensive missiles.

Posted by: Oscairo | December 22, 2010 2:34 AM | Report abuse

The START Treaty might mean something if this were 1970 and we were in the middle of the Cold War. Basically, a feel good document that neither side will comply with.

Posted by: danielhancock | December 21, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

RINO scumbags.

Posted by: standard_guy | December 21, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

RINO scumbags.

Posted by: standard_guy | December 21, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The state run media has been asking what the TeaParty means by "taking our country back". We want to take it back from elites like Kerry. Kerry is a bottom feeder.

Posted by: Kansasgirl | December 21, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

The media debate is in full swing about the President’s huge lame duck session, and what it will mean for his poll numbers. Now as we sit on the precipice of the START treaty ratification, I felt it was important to glance back in the history of this President and see why exactly we are here today. A kind of struggle through the white noise if you will:

http://www.doubledutchpolitics.com/2010/12/for-obama-new-strategic-arms-reduction-treaty-is-start-of-legacy/

Posted by: RyanC1384 | December 21, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The media debate is in full swing about the President’s huge lame duck session, and what it will mean for his poll numbers. Now as we sit on the precipice of the START treaty ratification, I felt it was important to glance back in the history of this President and see why exactly we are here today. A kind of struggle through the white noise if you will:

http://www.doubledutchpolitics.com/2010/12/for-obama-new-strategic-arms-reduction-treaty-is-start-of-legacy/

Posted by: RyanC1384 | December 21, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

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