WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's second-ranking Democratic leader thinks there are enough votes to ratify a nuclear arms treaty with Russia before year's end.
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin says "we need to bring this to a vote" during the waning days of the postelection session of Congress.
The Senate's point-man on the treaty, Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, said he believes there will be a vote on the treaty and it will pass.
But the No. 2 Senate GOP leader, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, says "this treaty needs to be fixed" and there's not enough time to do it.
The accord — known as New START — would limit each country's strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200, and establish a system for monitoring and verification. U.S. weapons inspections ended a year ago with the expiration of a 1991 treaty.
Senate debate is expected to resume later Sunday.
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