Lugar: Prospects improve for OK of arm treaty

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says he’s more optimistic now about ratification of a nuclear weapons treaty with Russia.

The new START treaty that President Barack Obama wants ratified during the lame-duck session of Congress has been opposed by some Senate Republicans.

Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana says he sees “strong bipartisan support” for an emerging agreement that would include a treaty vote during the postelection session. But he says Democrats would have to agree to limit Senate action to tax legislation, a broad spending measure and the treaty — in that order.

He says if the issue is debated, he tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that he thinks “the votes are there.”