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Senate advances START treaty

JTA

December 21, 2010 | 6:01 pm

The U.S. Senate advanced a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia that has been backed by a number of Jewish groups.

The Senate on Tuesday voted 67-28 to end debate on ratifying the START treaty.

The vote—56 in the Democratic caucus and 11 Republicans—was procedural but suggested that Democrats had the two-thirds majority needed to pass the treaty when it comes up for a vote as early as Wednesday.

The Obama administration and top Jewish Democratic senators had lobbied Jewish groups to express support for the treaty, saying it was critical to persuading Russia to isolate Iran.

Most major groups backed the treaty, although the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has yet to announce where it stands.

Opposing the treaty were a group of Republican senators, led by Rep. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who said its verification measures were inadequate and that it unnecessarily reduced the U.S. profile in Europe.

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