The New Start treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate today with a strong bi-partisan vote despite the efforts of the GOP leadership to kill the arms control deal which allows the U.S. to monitor Russian nuclear stockpiles - keeping them out of the hands of terrorists and off the black market.
Ratification of the treaty is another victory for President Obama who signed the treaty with the Russian president and helped to led the fight for ratification in the senate.
Religious leaders - including the National Council of Churches - strongly supported the treaty and urged members of the senate to but partisanship behind them. The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general-secretary of the National Council of Churches, was critical of efforts to delay ratification: "Peace is a major theme of the Advent season and celebration of Christmas. The National Council of Churches looks forward to being able to celebrate ratification of this treaty to reduce nuclear stockpiles and improve verification. Any delay would be contrary to our commitment to peace on earth.”
In the end, the vote was 71-26 in favor of the treaty. Vice-President Biden presided over the vote in his role as Senate president.
Photo credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza