WASHINGTON--President Obama pushed the Senate to ratify the New START treaty with Russia before the Christmas break, repeating his prediction in an NPR interview aired on Friday the measure will pass.
"Well, the START treaty is something that I absolutely think has to get done before Congress leaves for Christmas vacation. It is good for our national security. It allows us to verify what's going on with respect to nuclear weapons in Russia," Obama said.
Obama added, "And my understanding is, is that we have a number of Republicans, starting with Richard Lugar - somebody who, by the way, on my first trip abroad, I accompanied to Russia to talk about nuclear proliferation issues. He's been a great champion of this treaty. We're going to keep on working the numbers. And hopefully, we're going to be able to get it done."
My column on the split over START among some Senate Republicans and members of the GOP national security establishment is here.
My column on the Obama White House wooing freshman Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to support the treaty is here.
My Feb. 9, 2006 post about then Sen. Obama and Sen. Lugar working on proliferation issues is here.