Senate Ratifies New START

The Senate on Wednesday ratified the New START arms reduction treaty with Russia by a margin of 71 to 26, delivering President Obama a key foreign policy victory. “I’m glad that Democrats and Republicans came together to approve my top national security priority for this session of Congress,” said Obama during a White House press briefing following the vote. He added, “This is the most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades, and it will make us safer and reduce our nuclear arsenals along with Russia.” In the end, despite objections to the treaty by many top GOP Senators, 13 Republican members voted in favor of the pact, which required 67 votes for ratification. The Russian Duma still needs to ratify the accord for it to enter into force. Under it, both the United States and Russia would reduce their strategic nuclear arsenals to 1,550 deployed warheads, 700 deployed launchers, and 800 launchers overall. Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed New START on April 8. (White House blog entry on Obama press conference) (See also The Hill report and Los Angeles Times report) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton statement

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, statement

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), SFRC ranking member, statement

Defense Department webpage on New START

State Department webpage on New START

New START full text