“It’s hard for me to see this being a litmus test,” Cornyn says. So there will be room for discussion on this and other foreign-policy concerns? “Absolutely,” he replies.On the other hand, Republicans seem to be pushing for more compromise, using leverage from their handling of lame-duck legislation that's come up in the last few days:
A handful of rumored Republican START supporters — plus Sen. Richard Lugar (R., Ind.), one of the treaty’s main boosters — are up for reelection in 2012.
Earlier in the week, Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.) had called for “reciprocity” from Republicans in regard to START negotiations. Corker thought they’d shown just that, and now wanted to see some from Democrats. “I hope there will be a degree of credit given for the fact that stall tactics could’ve been used today [a]nd were not,” he said.For now I remain cautiously optimistic that the treaty will pass: ultimately, do we want to prevent ourselves from being able to monitor Russian nukes?
Corker said that he had voiced his concerns with Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) that ample time be allotted for discussion, but remained coy on how he thought a final vote would play out. The Senate will meet Sunday to debate and vote on several Republican amendments to the treaty.