A START Head Count

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 21 2010 8:17 AM

A START Head Count

Eli Lake counts votes :

Sen. Charles E. Schumer , New York Democrat, said on ABC 's "Good Morning America" that Sen. Thad Cochran , Mississippi Republican, had told him he will vote to approve the treaty. Other Republicans likely voting for the treaty include Sen. Olympia J. Snowe , Maine Republican; Sen. Susan Collins , Maine Republican; and Sen. Richard G. Lugar , Indiana Republican. Sen. Scott Brown , Massachusetts Republican, also said he would vote for the treaty this week.

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We might add to that list Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who supported the treaty on December 16 and reiterated his support yesterday; George Voinovich (R-Ohio), who has simply said he supports it; and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who've both said they can support the treaty. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted for cloture last week, and has not said whether she opposes the bill now, although she has yet to oppose a Democratic bill in the lame duck. Democrats need to hold their caucus together* and get nine more voters, and there are ten potential votes here.

*The office of Sen. Ron Wyden, who had incident-free surgery yesterday to treat his prostate cancer, tells me he will probably be discharged today, and ready to vote Wednesday, but it doesn't matter if he misses this vote -- treaty approval only requires 66 senators if 99 are present.

UPDATE 10:15 a.m. Robert Gibbs tweets (yes, yes, death of journalism) that Lamar Alexander supports the treaty. Sens. Lindsey Graham and John Kyl have put a press conference about START on the schedule, for 11 a.m.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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