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White House Says Believes Senate Will Ratify START

The Obama administration believes the U.S. Senate will ratify a new START nuclear arms treaty with Russia before it ends its work for the year.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs today told a news conference that "the White House believes that before Congress leaves town the Senate will ratify the new START Treaty."

President Barack Obama's Democrats have been pushing to pass the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) before the new Congress takes office in January because their Senate majority was reduced from 58-42 to 53-47.

The treaty needs 67 votes for approval in the 100-member Senate.

Russia warned U.S. lawmakers today that any changes to the treaty could kill the pact.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the treaty could not "become the subject of new negotiations."

Some Republicans want to make changes in the treaty, which they say could limit U.S. national security options.

compiled from agency reports