Today the U.S. Senate approved a resolution of advice and consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) by a vote of 71-26 continuing a tradition of bipartisan support for strategic arms agreements that spans four administrations.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry issued the following statement after the vote:
"This historic Senate vote makes our country safer and moves the world further away from the danger of nuclear disaster. The winners are not defined by party or ideology. The winners are the American people, who are safer with fewer Russian missiles aimed at them, and who benefit knowing that our cooperation with Russia in curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions and supplying our troops in Afghanistan can be strengthened.
"Members from both sides of the aisle worked hard to achieve this moment when we came together in the best interest of the American people. With all eyes watching, we reminded everyone of what the Senate can do when we work together. And by ratifying this agreement, we have the leverage to press countries around the world to join the fight against nuclear proliferation.
"New START has been described as a modest agreement, but the impact of Senate ratification is far from modest. The impact will echo around the world, signaling to allies and adversaries alike that the United States remains determined to work with Russia and responsible partners to reduce the threat from nuclear weapons worldwide.
"With this treaty, we send a message to Iran and North Korea that the international community remains united to restrain the nuclear ambitions of countries that operate outside the law. And we send a message that the two countries that possess 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons are fulfilling their obligations to reduce their arsenals in a responsible manner. By joining together, we isolate those who remain outside this international understanding.
"America is most secure when we set aside partisan politics and Democrats and Republicans debate our national security on the merits. That happened today and the world is safer because the Senate did its duty. Many times in this debate, when Senators were tempted to walk away and go home for Christmas, we were reminded that there are 150,000 American troops on missions around the world doing their duty away from their families as they do every day regardless of the season. They do their job with gut and grit. Today they can know that the Senate has done its duty as well, and our national security is strengthened because of it."