|Hearings under way this week;
Secretary Peña slated to testify
Senate hearings have begun on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which President Clinton
submitted to the Senate September 22, stating, "our common goal should be to enter the CTBT
into force as soon as possible."
Secretary of Energy Federico Peña and senior Department
of Defense officials will testify Wednesday before the Senate Energy and Water Development
Appropriations Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM).
The Administration witnesses are expected to discuss measures being taken to ensure the
safety and reliability of the nuclear stockpile without testing. The Administration
considers a science-based Stockpile Stewardship program essential to a CTBT to guarantee
a high level of confidence in the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons in the active
stockpile, including a broad range of effective and continuing experimental programs.
Ratifying the CTBT would bring a four decade bipartisan quest to a close -- and open a new
era of security for the American people. Beginning with President Eisenhower, who hoped that
a test ban would be his final and most lasting gift to his country, and echoed in the words
and actions of President Kennedy and President Clinton, American presidents of both parties
have believed a comprehensive test ban is profoundly in Americas interests.
President Eisenhower called the failure to achieve a ban on nuclear
testing, "the greatest
disappointment of any administration -- of any decade -- of any time and of any
President Kennedy, in calling for a test ban, said, "Every man, woman
and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads,
capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The
weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.... The logical place to begin
is a treaty assuring the end of nuclear tests of all kinds...."
President Clinton, at
the United Nations this September said, "...I was honored to be |