Democrats dismissed Republican objections to START and contended that immediate ratification is vital to national security. They beat back three GOP amendments Monday evening: Amendments by Sens. James Inhofe (Okla.) and John Thune (S.D.) were both rejected by votes of 33-64, while a third by Sen. George LeMieux (Fla.) fell by a vote of 35-62. All previous GOP amendments have also been defeated, with Democrats arguing that the acceptance of any proposal would kill START.
“I believe very strongly that from an intelligence perspective, we are much better off with the treaty than without the treaty,” Feinstein said. “Without the treaty we have nothing, and I think the Russians have indicated the treaty would not be renegotiated. Therefore we go blind and we go dark, and I think that is a problem.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.