WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's chief spokesman says the White House believes the Senate will ratify an arms treaty with Russia before Congress adjourns this year.
Spokesman Robert Gibbs voiced optimism despite newly announced opposition to the treaty from the Senate's Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Gibbs said Obama and Vice President Joe Biden continued to reach out to fence-sitting senators to ensure the treaty, known as New START, can win the two-thirds majority required for ratification.
Gibbs said McConnell's opposition and that of the Senate's second ranking GOP leader, Jon Kyl of Arizona, did not alter the White House expectation the treaty would pass.
Ratification of the treaty would cap a flurry of activity following a midterm election that gave Republicans a new foothold on power.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.