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13 October 1999

 
  

White House Report, October 13, 1999

(Pakistan, CTBT) (550)

...............

WHITE HOUSE SAYS CTBT SHOULD NOT BE PUT OFF UNTIL NEW PRESIDENT

Asked about whether there will be a Senate vote on ratifying the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Lockhart said Senate Democrats are
working amongst themselves with the Senate leadership on a plan to put
off such a vote.

Both Republicans and Democrats acknowledge that there are not enough
votes in the Senate for ratification. Under the U.S. Constitution for
a treaty to be ratified, 67 of the 100 Senators, or two-thirds of
those voting, must vote for ratification.

The Republican leadership wants the Democrats to promise not to bring
the treaty back to the floor of the Senate until 2001, following the
Presidential elections.

But Lockhart said the White House, and Senate Democrats have made
their view clear on this: "We don't believe it is in our national
security interests to make a blanket statement" like that -- "that no
matter what happens in the world, no matter what our national security
interests are, that we won't talk about something, that we won't bring
something up."

"The issue is now whether Senate Republicans want to delay this treaty
or whether they want to vote this treaty down," the Press Secretary
said.

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State)