Sunday 25 June 2017

Obama gets support for Russian nuclear pact

Desmond Butler in Washington

US President Barack Obama has the votes for Senate ratification of a new arms control treaty with Russia, assuring a major foreign policy victory.

At least 10 Republicans have announced publicly that they will vote for the accord, with a handful of Republicans coming on board yesterday.

"I think it's going to pass and more than just pass," Bob Corker, one of the Republicans backing the treaty, told reporters.

Ratification would be the latest of several political victories for Mr Obama since his Democratic Party suffered major losses in congressional elections last month. It would deliver a foreign policy boost for his efforts to improve cooperation with Russia.

In the postelection congressional session, Mr Obama has won overwhelming bipartisan passage of the tax deal he reached with Republicans and repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military -- and the treaty was the centerpiece of his national security agenda.

Also declaring support for the treaty yesterday, were Republican senators Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander, the number-three Republican in the Senate, who bucked opposition by the top two Republicans in his announcement yesterday.

The US Constitution requires two-thirds of those voting in the Senate to ratify the pact.

Irish Independent

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