Senator Lamar Alexander said, “I’m open to it.”
Arizona Senator Jon Kyl became the latest Republican to show a willingness to support a new arms control treaty with Russia by the end of the year even as his party vowed to block nearly all business in the chamber.
“If we can get this tax issue done and get the spending for the government accomplished, then there might be time to do it,” Kyl said on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” program yesterday.
Republican leaders have stalled consideration of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, vowing to block passage of all bills until Congress takes up legislation extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and passes a stopgap funding bill to keep the federal government operating until appropriations measures for fiscal year 2011 are enacted.
Kyl, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, cited on Nov. 16 “complex and unresolved” issues for why the new START would be unlikely to pass in the current lame-duck session. Since then, Republicans have come forward and indicated that they would be open to support the nuclear agreement once their tax and spending priorities were addressed.
“Everything is going in a very constructive way,” Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, told reporters. “We still have the details to be worked out but they are being worked on” and “there is a real possibility as to it happening this year.”
Senate approval of a resolution supporting ratification of the accord would award a significant victory to President Barack Obama, who considers the treaty the top foreign policy priority of his administration for this congressional session.
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Source: Lisa Lerer and James Rowley | Bloomberg
Photo: Karen Bleier | AFP | Getty Images