White House hopes to see START treaty ratified this year
The White House hopes to see a landmark nuclear arms pact with Russia approved by US lawmakers this year, saying Wednesday it would be a test of how Republicans and Democrats can work together.
Asked whether President Barack Obama's Democratic allies had the necessary votes in the Senate in support of the pact, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: "We think we do, we think we'll get them."
"This is going to be a test to the degree to which both sides can work together," he added, with Republicans now holding up a Senate vote on the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
The White House needs eight Republicans to reach the 67 Senate votes needed for ratification, but that figure will run up to 14 when a new Congress convenes in January as a result of the November 2 elections.
"The administration will push forward," Gibbs said, seeking to ratify the treaty "before the end of the year."
"The president will continue to push this."
© 2010 AFP