Arizonia Sen. Jon Kyl, the Republican whip, disagreed, saying ratification of the treaty is far from a slam dunk. Kyl said he wants to see an intelligence assessment on the treaty's impact, as well as the transcript of U.S.-Russian negotiations, to see if the U.S. made concessions regarding missile defense.
"Will (Obama) be tempted to pull his punches (on missile defense) in order to keep the Russians from withdrawing from the treaty?" Kyl asked in an interview.
"He's going to be sorely tempted," he added.
Democrats say they hope the committee can vote before the August recess, paving the way for a floor vote on the treaty as early as this fall.