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Obama gains ground in push for nuclear treaty

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama gained ground in his push for Senate ratification of a stalled nuclear treaty as once-reluctant Republicans signaled a willingness to back the pact with Russia.

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, said Thursday that he is "wide open" to supporting the treaty if his concerns about modernization of the remaining U.S. nuclear arsenal are addressed. He praised the White House for working with lawmakers.

Alexander told MSNBC that the administration is "making important steps in the right direction."

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in a Senate speech that he was encouraged by the discussions involving GOP lawmakers and the administration. Kerry says he expects a "positive outcome" in the next few days.


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