Monday, December 20, 2010

POLITICS - More Republican Hostage Taking, Nuclear Pact

"Democrats Scramble to Save Votes to Ratify Nuclear Pact" by PETER BAKER, New York Times 12/19/2010


The top two Senate Republicans declared Sunday that they would vote against President Obama’s nuclear treaty with Russia as the bipartisan spirit of last week’s tax-cut deal devolved into a sharp battle over national security in the waning days of the session.

With some prominent Republicans angry over passage of legislation ending the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military, the mood in the Senate turned increasingly divisive and Mr. Obama and Democratic lawmakers scrambled to hold together a coalition to approve the treaty.

How typically Republican.

Hold a new Nuclear Pact hostage because some didn't like the passage of ending the ban on gays in the military. REMINDER: START was bipartisan in the past.


"Senate Support Builds for Pact on Arms Control" by PETER BAKER, New York Times 12/20/2010


The Senate moved closer on Monday to approving a new arms control treaty with Russia over the opposition of Republican leaders as lawmakers worked on a side deal to assure skeptics that the arms pact would not inhibit American plans to build missile defense systems.

A Republican senator announced that he would vote for the treaty and two others said they were leaning toward it after a closed-door session on classified aspects of the pact. At the same time, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, produced separate legislation that could reassure fellow Republicans worried about the treaty’s impact on missile defense.

By the end of another tumultuous day, treaty backers said they could count more than the two-thirds majority required for approval in votes that could begin as early as Tuesday. The Senate mustered as many as 64 votes in defeating Republican amendments on Monday, just two short of what supporters need for final approval, and three senators who supported one of the amendments have already said they will vote for the treaty in the end.

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