Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some progress on New START?

By Peter Henne

It looks like I might have been wrong on New START, the arms reduction treaty currently being deliberated over in the Senate. Back in November I argued that the continued objections of Senator Jon Kyl -- among other Senate Republicans -- to the treaty made its passage unlikely, even though most of the critiques of the deal make little sense. In addition to Kyl's objections, Jim DeMint -- GOP Senator from South Carolina -- also threatened to force the Senate to read through the entire treaty, a process that could last 10 hours and prevent passage this year.

Now Jim DeMint seems to have "backed down," partially under pressure from GOP Senate leaders. If the treaty moves forward in the Senate before the Democrats lose several members of their caucus in the next session, its chances for ratification are rather good.

Notice, however, that I said I might have been wrong. Republicans are hardly supporting the bill, and it is very likely they could still delay a vote. So I'm not getting my hopes up yet.

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