Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has dropped his threat to employ delay tactics in order to block passage of the United States' nuclear arms treaty with Russia.
Debate over the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was set to begin on Dec. 16, a day after Senators approved the tax cut package. Democrats are hoping to approve the foreign relations measure before the lame-duck session ends because Republicans will gain more chamber seats in January. Republicans, however, are reluctant to pass the measure without more thorough discussions about the treaty.
According to Reuters, DeMint previously indicated that he would request a full reading of the START pact, which could take up to 15 hours to read. The treaty itself is 17 pages, while accompanying protocol and additional annexes add another 339 pages.
Later, DeMint changed his mind and said he would not force a reading of the START treaty. However, he acknowledged that he still plans to force a floor reading of the $1.1 trillion government spending bill if it emerges in the lame-duck session.