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Friday, July 23, 2010

White House Presses Republicans on Arms Treaty - NYTimes.com

White House Presses Republicans on Arms Treaty - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — With time running out for major votes before the November election, the White House is trying to reach an understanding with Senate Republicans to approve its new arms control treaty with Russia by committing to modernizing the nuclear arsenal and making additional guarantees about missile defense.

The White House pressed allies in Congress in recent days to approve billions of dollars for the nation’s current nuclear weapons and infrastructure even as administration and Congressional officials work on a ratification resolution intended to reaffirm that the treaty will not stop American missile defense plans.

The effort to forge a genuine bipartisan coalition contrasts with most of President Obama’s legislative drives in the past year because a treaty requires a two-thirds vote, meaning that the president needs at least eight Republicans. White House officials are optimistic that they can reach an agreement that will attract enough Republicans but are racing against the calendar because the closer it gets to the election, the more partisan the debate may become. More...

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