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Sunday
Dec192010

Top Senators on START: 'Believe it Will Pass,' 'Votes Are There'

Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., (L) and Richard Lugar, R-Ind. appear on ABC's "This Week." Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate has turned its attention to remaining legislative priorities for the lame-duck session, including continuing debate on ratifying a new arms control treaty with Russia, known as New START.

"I believe it will pass, and I believe there will be a vote," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour in a joint appearance with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

Lugar, a ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, has supported the treaty as well, working with Democrats to get the two-thirds majority of Senate votes required.

"Several Republicans will support it, and I join the chairman in believing that there are the votes there," Lugar said. "The problem is really getting to that final vote."

The Senate rejected an amendment Saturday seeking to remove language from the treaty's preamble, introduced by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who argued the language would restrict the United States' abilities on missile defense.

"There is no restraint, zero, none, no restraint whatsoever on our missile defense capacity," Kerry responded. "Secretary Gates says it. Secretary Clinton says it. The intelligence community says it. All of our military leaders want this treaty." 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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