Arms Control

START Clears Final Hurdle

Senators can finally get ready for those Christmas vacations they’ve been complaining about. The last big piece of work on their agenda is just about done, as the Senate voted 67-28 to close debate on the arms-control treaty START, meaning the chamber is likely to ratify the treaty Wednesday with the requisite two-thirds vote. Eleven Republicans voted to end debate and all can be expected to vote yea on the final treaty. The new treaty will limit each country to 1,550 warheads, down from 2,200—an amount that assured one Republican backer, Lamar Alexander, that we will be left "with enough nuclear warheads to blow any attacker to kingdom come.”