The Senate’s consent to ratify New START matters a great deal. To understand why, consider the likely consequences if irreconcilable Republicans are able to block ratification. Their arguments for doing so are so strained that foreign capitals would be justified in concluding that Washington has lost its bearings. America’s standing in the world would take a dive. Friends and allies would count less on Washington. Troublemakers would have more room to maneuver. The currency of international power would continue to flow towards Beijing, and there would be no agreed rules for reductions and verification arrangements for the two largest nuclear arsenals.Plus the Republicans will be repudiating their long history of developing and supporting arms control measures.
Update: John Kerry, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has delayed the committee vote until September 15. The most likely reason for this is that they don't have the overall Senate votes for ratification.