From: Melinda Lamont-Havers
Subject: Lott Press Conference
Thu, 10 Apr 1997 16:51:42 -0400


     We are still working on substance and procedure on how we move on   
the conventional weapons convention.

     Again, I think we've made progress there.  I've met and talked with   
administration officials.  It looks like we may be able to resolve a   
couple of other issues we were very worried about, very concerned about   
 -- search and seizure provisions.  We haven't got the language worked out   
but I believe the administration is indicating that they think they can   
do something in that area that would help our concern some.

     Also, we think maybe we're going to get an agreement on the riot   
control use of tear gas.  So, we're getting down to two or three very   
critical issues that will still probably not be agreed to and will have   
to be debated and voted on on the floor of the Senate.  We're looking at   
the time frame.  We do expect to get started on the issue next week   
probably in the form of the bill, S-495, I believe it is.

     Then, it would be followed by taking up the chemical weapons issue   
early in the next week.  We do have the Passover period which gives us a   
little bit of a time problem, of that Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

     But we believe we can get it to a consideration and then see how it   
plays out.

     QUESTION:  Not next week, the week after?

     LOTT:  We will begin on it next week, on the process.  But to make   
sure we have plenty of time to debate it and also a closed session of the   
Senate to hear information that is classified.  It takes some time.  So,   
you're talking about, you know, maybe as long as 15 hours of general   
debate.  But we're talking about a limited number of amendments with, you   
know, limits on amendments in the areas where there has been agreement   

     But we think it would take the better part of probably four or five   

     All right, questions?

     QUESTION:  Which one are you going to go to, definitively it's the   

     LOTT:  No, it's not necessarily the next issue.  In fact, we will
have some intervening issues.  We are still working on seeing if we can   
clear the nomination of Pete Peterson to be ambassador.  We think that   
the Alexis Herman nomination may be ready for consideration next week to   
be secretary of labor.

     That would probably take some time because there are some issues   
that have been raised that have to be answered for the senators before   
they would want to vote on that nomination.  So, things like that could   

QUESTION:  Have you made progress with the administration on your   
parallel foreign policy issues that you've mentioned?

     LOTT:  Yes I think we have made progress.  And I don't think maybe   
we've made enough of that.  There were some very important issues that we   
call parallel issues to the weapons treaty or convention issue.  One of   
course was UN reform.  Now we're very unsatisfied with the way money is   
spent.  And how much spent at the United Nations.  We think that our fee   
that we are charged to be in the UN is unfair, it needs to be modified.

     So we have set up a working group on that.  We've met with Secretary   
Albright twice.  Once when she was actually still at the UN with Bill   
Richardson and a bipartisan bicameral group.  And we have sort of   
identified the areas of greatest concern, what we think the arrearage is.   
 And we're beginning to work on a way to deal with that. So I think   
progress has been made there.

     Also on State Department reauthorization, Chairman Helms has   
received assurances and reassurances and multiple assurances, but I still   
think we're going to have to get a little more specificity in that area   
as to what might be involved and when we can expect some action on that   
and the president's cooperation.

     But very, very importantly -- you know, we feel that the   
administration is got to understand that treaties are strictly a two way   
street that under the Constitution involves the Senate.

     They've been holding back treaties.  They come up here and say oh   
you've got to move the treaties we want while holding back treaties that   
we're very interested in and concerned about and think we should be   
involved in advise and consent.

     I identified three of those in a letter to the president, January 8.

     LOTT:  I got a response March 21, that was the date from Sandy   
Berger.  I actually  got the letter just last week.  But they did   
indicate they agreed with us.  And they were going to send up two of the   
three treaties, the conventional forces in Europe treaty, the demarcation   
issue with regards to ABM.  They still don't agree with us on   
multi-lateralization where the former Soviet Union countries have been,   
you know, involved.  But they are separate countries now.

     We think that the Senate should consider that since there are   
additional countries being involved not just Russia.  So, we'll continue   
to discuss that one but they are indicating they are going to send two   
out of three.  I think that is an important development.  I think it is a   
concession on the part of the administration.  And that, I view as a step   
in the right direction.