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Marco Rubio pushes for a delay in START treaty; President Obama calls it a "national security imperative"

Florida's Sen.-elect Marco Rubio is joining nine other incoming Republican senators in asking for a delay in signing a U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty until they get in office.

The letter comes as President Barack Obama declared ratification of the arms treaty "a national security imperative" Thursday, saying the Senate must act before Congress goes home for the year.

But the 10 Republican senators are backing Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl's call for a delay, noting that no arms pacts with Russia has been ratified under a lame duck Congress. In a statement, they said the nuclear pact "would dramatically reduce the U.S. nuclear deterrent.''

The White House is mounting an all-out push for ratification of the treaty, which Obama has made a top foreign policy priority.