President Barack Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden at left, speaks Friday before signing the bipartisan tax package.
WASHINGTON — The Senate today ratified an arms control treaty with Russia that reins in the nuclear weapons that could plunge the world into doomsday, giving President Barack Obama a major foreign policy win in Congress’ waning hours.
Thirteen Republicans broke with their top two leaders and joined 56 Democrats and two independents in providing the necessary two-thirds vote to approve the treaty. The vote was 71-26.
The accord, which still must be approved by Russia, would restart onsite weapons inspections as successors to President Ronald Reagan embraced his edict of “trust, but verify.”
Vice President Joe Biden presided over the Senate and announced the vote. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton observed the vote from the Senate floor. Both had lobbied furiously for the treaty’s approval.