Much hash has been made about President Obama's refocus on foreign policy in the aftermath of an election that wounded his party's political ranks. That initiative may have suffered an equally damaging blow this morning, as Senator Jon Kyl -- the GOP lead on the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty -- said that it was unlikely that Obama's prized nuclear weapons treaty will be passed during the lame duck session of Congress. On his website this morning, Kyl announced:
When Majority Leader Harry Reid asked me if I thought the treaty could be considered in the lame duck session, I replied I did not think so given the combination of other work Congress must do and the complex and unresolved issues related to START and modernization. I appreciate the recent effort by the Administration to address some of the issues that we have raised and I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Kerry, DOD, and DOE officials.
That would push START back to the 112th Congress, which convenes in January. President Obama would then need to secure 7 additional GOP votes from new members, perhaps putting the treaty's passage out of reach for an administration that just recently launched an aggressive, multi-front push to ensure ratification during the lame duck session of Congress.