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Sea Treaty backed by military, business all but dead as 34 GOP senators oppose pact
WASHINGTON (AP) ¯¯¯ A treaty governing the high seas is all but dead in the Senate.
Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire announced their opposition Monday. That brings the number of GOP opponents to 34 and the Constitution requires two-thirds of the Senate to ratify a treaty, or 67 votes.
The nation's top military leaders and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had pressed for Senate ratification this year. The business community also had backed the long-spurned pact.
But Portman and Ayotte said in a letter that the treaty was too expansive and ill-defined.
Conservatives have led the opposition to the treaty, which was concluded in 1982 and been in force since 1994. The United States is the only major nation that has refused to sign it.