The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is planning a vote on a nuclear arms reduction treaty before the August congressional recess.

Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the ranking member of the panel, announced a second series of hearings on Thursday with an aim toward holding a committee vote on ratifying the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) before the Senate breaks for August.

"It is imperative that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee act expeditiously to move the New START Treaty to the Senate floor," Kerry said in a statement. "We plan to hold a vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the New START Treaty prior to the August recess and are confident that our colleagues from both sides of the aisle will join us in supporting the treaty to strengthen our national security."

The treaty between the United States and Russia was signed by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in early April to replace an earlier iteration of the agreement, which would reduce each nation's nuclear stockpile.

Obama has pushed the Senate to ratify the agreement before the November elections, but the 67-vote threshold for ratification could prove difficult. Senators in both parties have warned the votes may not be there, and that the treaty may have to be punted until next year.