President Barack Obama says American leadership on scores of global challenges could be damaged by failure to ratify a new arms control treaty with Russia.
In the weekly radio and Internet address, Obama pleads with the Senate to approve the treaty, a dearly held foreign policy priority in the waning days of Congress' lame-duck session.
Obama says ratification "is about the safety and security of the United States of America," not scoring political points.
The fate of the treaty is uncertain in the Senate, where it requires a two-thirds vote for passage. Senators are juggling it along with other contentious issues Obama wants to see completed before Congress recesses for the holidays. Those issues include a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military, which will be debated today.