Senate will debate nuke treaty

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will ask the Senate to ratify the new START Treaty with Russia before the lame duck session ends.

Tom Brede, a spokesman for Reid, confirmed this morning that Reid intends to bring the nuclear arms treaty to a vote. Debate could begin after the Senate completes action on a tax cut deal.

Reid is hoping to reach an agreement today with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to hold a final vote on the tax cut bill sooner rather than later. Otherwise, the Senate could be forced to vote a half hour after the clock strikes midnight.

Senate proponents of the START Treaty say they have the votes to win ratification. And, several Republicans have indicated they will support it.

 Nevada Sen. John Ensign joined 21 other Senate Republicans earlier this month in urging Reid to postpone a vote on the treaty until next year. They contended that there is not enough time in the lame duck session to adequately debate such a complex treaty.

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