Obama Presses for Vote on Russia Arms Treaty

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President Barack Obama lobbied, Thursday, for votes to ratify a nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, during the Senate's lame-duck session now in progress.

The New START deal is a top foreign policy priority for Obama. It would shrink the number of weapons held by the U.S. and Russia, and put inspection requirements in place that expired with a previous treaty last year.

"This is not about politics," Obama said. "It's about national security. This is not a matter than can be delayed."

The White House brought in former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, James Baker, and Henry Kissinger, former Defense Scretaries William Cohen and William Perry, and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft to show bipartisan support of the treaty.

Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., a leading GOP voice on the issue, has suggested delaying a vote until the newly elected Congress is sworn in.

The treaty has support from some moderate Republicans, but Kyl's opposition may make approval tougher. Many GOP leaders were looking for his input before backing it.

Still, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he is confident the administration will gain enough support.

"I think we'll have enough votes to pass it even without Kyl's support," he said. "I don't think it's going to get pushed into next year."

If the vote is delayed until January when the newly elected Senate is seated, Democrats will need the support of at least 14 Republicans.

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