WASHINGTON – The Senate on Wednesday ratified an arms control treaty with Russia that reins in the nuclear weapons that could plunge the world into doomsday, giving President Barack Obama a major foreign policy win in the closing hours of the postelection Congress.
Thirteen Republicans broke with their top two leaders and joined 56 Democrats and two independent in providing the necessary two-thirds vote to approve the treaty. The vote was 71-26.
The accord, which still must be approved by Russia, would restart onsite weapons inspections as successors to President Ronald Reagan have embraced his edict of "trust, but verify."
Vice President Joe Biden presided over the Senate and announced the vote. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton observed the vote from the Senate floor. Both had lobbied furiously for the treaty's approval.
"The question is whether we move the world a little out of the dark shadow of nuclear nightmare," Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry asked his colleagues moments before the historic tally.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has ratified a new arms control treaty with Russia in a major foreign policy win for President Barack Obama.
The vote was 71-26, more than the two-thirds of those present and voting required for approval.
The treaty would cap nuclear warheads for both countries and resume onsite inspections that expired a year ago.
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