Senate Ratifies Nuclear Arms Treaty Obama gets his top foreign policy goal with 71-26 vote By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Dec 22, 2010 2:17 PM CST 7 comments Comments Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton keeps her fingers crossed as she comes to see the vote on the New START Treaty. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Newser) – The Senate today ratified the much-debated nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, giving President Obama a major foreign policy win in the closing hours of the postelection Congress. Thirteen Republicans broke with their top two leaders and joined 56 Democrats and two independent in providing the necessary two-thirds vote to approve the New START pact. The vote was 71-26. Vice President Joe Biden presided over the Senate and announced the vote, while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton observed the vote from the Senate floor. Both had lobbied vigorously for the treaty's approval. "The question is whether we move the world a little out of the dark shadow of nuclear nightmare," said Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry before the tally.