The Senate ratified the strategic nuclear arms treaty between the United States and Russia on Wednesday, fulfilling President Obama’s major foreign policy goal for the lame-duck session.
By 71-26, the Senate approved the treaty, known as New START, which Republicans had blocked. A jubilant Vice President Joe Biden announced the results in his role as the Senate’s presiding officer.
Top Republicans continued to oppose the treaty, but 13 Republicans crossed over to vote for pact. Fifty-six Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them voted for the agreement.
NBC News is reporting that the House has now also passed the 9/11 Health bill in its last vote of 111th Congress. Jon Stewart focused the last episode of The Daily Show this year (below) on Republican inaction on the bill. Christopher Beam says it means Stewart has stepped onto the political playing field. The centerpiece of the program was a devastating interview with four of the 9/11 first responders…