Specter, Biden urge CTBT hearings; highlight overwhelming public support

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., ranking minority member of the Committee joined forces July 29 to urge the Senate to schedule hearings on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, which enjoys extraordinary public support according to polls released by the Senators.
The Senators are cosponsoring a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the Foreign Relations Committee should hold hearings on the CTBT and the full Senate should take it up for debate and a vote on ratification as soon as possible.
“Ten months ago, the President submitted the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty to the Senate for its advice and consent,” Senator Biden said. “Since then, I regret there has not been a single hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on this Treaty.”
Senate foot-dragging on the Treaty is out of step with the majority of Americans, who strongly support a test ban, according to recent polls.
“The vast majority of Americans support U.S. ratification of the Treaty,” Senator Biden said. “In five states -- with seven Republican senators -- the percentage of treaty supporters ranges from 77 to 86 percent of those polled,” Senator Biden said.
The state-by-state polls, as conducted by The Mellman Group, Inc., and Wirthlin Worldwide in July, found as follows:

Eighty-three percent of Nebraska voters want the Senate to approve the CTBT, with support cutting across political and demographic lines.

An overwhelming majority of Kansans, 79 percent, want the Senate to approve the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Support for the Treaty is strong among Democrats (81 percent), Republicans (79 percent), and independents (78 percent).


Oregonians were the strongest CTBT supporters, with 86 percent of Oregon voters saying the Treaty should be approved. Oregon voters were also asked whether they “favor” or “oppose” a variety of possible U.S. government responses to nuclear tests in India and Pakistan. An overwhelming 90 percent favor urging India and Pakistan to approve the Treaty, and 79 percent favor U.S. ratification as the best response.

Tennessee voters -- 78 percent of them -- strongly support Senate ratification of the CTBT. Seventy percent of Tennessee voters polled would also support a Senate candidate who will vote to ratify the CTBT.

Utah voters strongly support the Treaty, with 83 percent saying the U.S. Senate should approve the CTBT.
In a joint letter to their colleagues, Senators Specter and Biden wrote, “Failure by the United States Senate to ratify the Treaty may give rise to an inference that the United States government is not serious about banning nuclear testing and may, in effect, encourage or at least not discourage such testing.”

Produced by the White House Working Group on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
For more information on the CTBT: Phone: 202-647-8677 Fax: 202-647-6928