WASHINGTON -- The White House is forcefully accusing Republicans of reaching a 'new low' by threatening to use delaying tactics to hold up ratification of a new nuclear treaty with Russia.

In a statement, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the GOP is putting "political stunts ahead of our national security" by threatening to force the New START treaty to be read aloud in the Senate. Gibbs says the move is an example of "Washington game-playing."

Obama has made ratification of the treaty a top foreign policy imperative during the lame-duck session of Congress. Some Republican lawmakers have argued that there isn't enough time to ratify the treaty before the end of the year.

Republicans are threatening to force a reading of the U.S.-Russia nuclear treaty in the Senate.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that the only imperative is a tax measure and legislation to keep the government operating. He said everything else can wait until next year.

More On This...

Democratic leader Harry Reid said he hoped the Republicans would not require that the treaty be read aloud. He said it would be a "colossal waste of time."

The Senate was scheduled to vote on tax legislation Wednesday and then move ahead on the treaty.