Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch joined 26 Republicans in a losing effort to block a new arms control treaty that would pare back American and Russian nuclear arsenals.
The Senate voted 67 to 28 to advance the New Start Treaty, reaching the two-thirds majority needed for approval. Eleven Republicans joined every Democrat present to support the treaty, which now heads to a final vote of approval on Wednesday.
The vote represents another December bipartisan victory for the Obama administration, which appeared politically wounded from the midterm elections, but successfully lobbied several priorities including a tax-cut package and the end of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy banning open homosexuals from serving in the military.
The New Start Treaty requires the United States and Russia to reduce nuclear stockpiles so that within seven years of ratification neither deploys more than 1,550 strategic warheads and 700 launchers.