FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Sheila Dormody OCTOBER 13, 1999 202-862-9740 x. 3006 NATION'S LARGEST PEACE GROUP CONDEMNS TEST BAN VOTE PEACE ACTION ASSERTS: TREATY-WRECKERS WILL PAY AT POLLS WASHINGTON, DC - With 48 votes in favor of the test ban, 51 against, and 1 vote cast as "present," tonight the Senate defeated ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). This vote opens the door to unchecked nuclear weapons development and proliferation world-wide. As predicted, Democrats voted as a block. A few courageous votes to end global nuclear weapons testing were cast by Republican Senators Chafee (RI), Jeffords (VT), Smith (OR), and Spector (PA). Senator Byrd (D-WV) voted present. "It is unconscionable that the extreme right wing of the Republican party has taken over U.S. arms control and created a global, nuclear free-for-all; it is unconscionable that partisan politicking has out-weighed efforts to lessen the risk of nuclear holocaust; it is unconscionable that the U.S. Senate and the Clinton Administration have failed the American people and the international community by their inability to reach agreement on this vital treaty," asserted Gordon S. Clark, Peace Action's Executive Director. Condemnation of the Senate vote is expected from angry constituents. Peace Action affiliates in states whose Senator(s) opposed the treaty will launch campaigns and electoral initiatives to punish the treaty-wreckers. "Peace Action will work to emblazon the CTBT vote in the electorate's mind and Senators who voted against the test ban will have to answer at the polls," said Clark. The failure of the Senate to ratify the test ban has ominous consequences for past, present and future multinational arms control and disarmament efforts. Past agreements, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty may unravel. Current efforts to reduce nuclear arsenals through the START process may halt. The Senate vote has cracked the foundation of the international arms control regime, eroding confidence in the viability of future efforts. "India, Pakistan and other nations have received a green light from the United States to further develop nuclear weapons. If the world's uncontested nuclear super-power refuses to abide by international treaties to lessen the risk of nuclear war, why shouldn't other nations?" asked Clark. "Peace Action and other grassroots activists will sustain pressure on Senate leaders until successful passage of the nuclear test ban is achieved!" Clark concluded. Peace Action is the nation's largest grassroots peace and disarmament organization. Peace Action's most recent CTBT work includes the "Democracy versus Jesse-ocracy" campaign focused on the obstructionist role of Senator Helms and a CTBT press event at the Capitol with Senator Dorgan, sending the message "You have No Right to Threaten Our Children's Future." -30- Fran Teplitz Policy Director Peace Action Education Fund 1819 H St., NW #425 Washington, DC 20006 202-862-9740 x. 3004 202-862-9762 (fax)