DATE=10/7/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=CLINTON - TEST BAN (L) NUMBER=2-254771 BYLINE=DEBORAH TATE DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: President Clinton says next week's Senate vote on ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty may be delayed. Bipartisan talks between lawmakers and the White House continue on a way to postpone the vote on the pact. The accord faces overwhelming opposition by majority Republicans, who believe the treaty would harm U-S national security. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports from the White House. Text: Leaders of both political parties -- fearing a domestic and international backlash if the Senate rejects the treaty -- are seeking a way to delay the vote, scheduled for Tuesday. Mr. Clinton suggests the talks are making progress. // CLINTON ACT // We have had conversations with the leadership and members of both parties, and I think there is a chance that they will reach an accord there. // END ACT // He says many lawmakers believe they do not have enough time for serious debate on the issue. But Republican Senator Jesse Helms -- a long-time political foe of the President -- is leading a group of conservative lawmakers in pressing for the proceedings. He says the only way he would agree to a delay is if Mr. Clinton requests a postponement in writing, and promises not to seek action on the treaty until after he leaves office in 2001. Mr. Clinton offered an indirect response to the demand -- which the White House has rejected -- as he continued his campaign for ratification. // CLINTON ACT// This is bigger than party politics, this is bigger than personal politics. This is about America's future, and the future of our children in the world. We have a chance to reduce the likelihood that more countries will obtain nuclear weapons. We have a chance to reduce the likelihood that countries that are now working on developing nuclear technologies will be able to convert them into usable weapons. We have a chance to reduce the likelihood that countries that have weapons will make more advanced, more sophisticated and bigger weapons. We cannot walk away from that. // END ACT // The President, who spoke after meeting with a group of religious leaders to discuss the treaty, said the United States has moral responsibility to ratify the pact. He again rejected concerns of opponents who say the treaty is not verifiable, and that the U-S inventory of nuclear weapons would deteriorate without adequate testing. (SIGNED) NEB/DAT/RAE 07-Oct-1999 14:17 PM EDT (07-Oct-1999 1817 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .