Senate approves new START

Despite persistent GOP threats to block passage, the arms control treaty passes the upper house on a 71-26 vote

Published December 22, 2010 9:10PM (EST)

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.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate is voting on a major arms pact with Russia with ratification likely.

Passage would hand President Barack Obama a huge victory on his top foreign policy priority.

The treaty would limit each country's strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200. It also would establish a system for monitoring and verification.

By Desmond Butler

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