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08 October 1999

 
  

White House Report, Friday, October 8, 1999

(Clinton/Senate/CTBT)  (220)

CLINTON ASKS SENATE TO DELAY VOTE ON NUCLEAR TEST BAN

President Clinton, in Ottawa October 8, asked the U.S. Senate to delay
its vote on a treaty to ban nuclear tests, saying the Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty appeared doomed to fail if voted on next week as
scheduled. Debate on the floor of the Senate had just begun earlier in
the day.

"It is clear now that the level of opposition to the Treaty and the
time it would take to craft the necessary safeguards to get the
necessary votes are simply not there," Clinton told reporters at a
news conference. "So I hope that the Senate will reach an agreement to
delay the vote."

He urged Republicans to "establish an orderly process, a nonpolitical
orderly process, to systematically deal with all the issues that are
out there and take whatever time is necessary to do it."

The President accused the Republican leadership in the Senate of
opposing the Treaty solely on political grounds and for political
purposes.

"This whole thing," he said, "is about politics."

Since 1996, the Treaty has been signed by 154 nations already, but it
would go into effect only if it is ratified by 44 nuclear-capable
countries, including the United States. So far, 26 countries of those
needed to ratify have actually ratified the Treaty.