April 18, 1997

QUESTION: Mr. President, what is your outlook for ratification of the
treaty? And how much of a quid pro quo was there with Senator Helms on
reorganizing the State Department? Will the Voice of America still
have its autonomy? All of these things are kind of worrisome.

ANSWER: Well, yes, the Voice of America will still have its
independent voice. It will still be the voice of America. There was no

Senator Helms came to see me personally at the White House last year
sometime -- I don't remember when -- and we met up in my office in the
residence for an extended period of time, with just a few of his staff
members, a few of mine. He was going over his plan for reorganization
of the agencies and why he thought it was right. I promised him that I
would seriously consider the issue, that I thought there ought to be
some reorganization. I had a slightly different take on it. And,
actually, since that time, but especially in the last few weeks, we
have been working very, very hard to reach a consensus within the
administration on an alternative proposal. I think it is warranted and
I think it's good on the merits.

I can tell you that there was no linkage between these two issues. I
do not expect Senator Helms to vote for the Chemical Weapons
Convention. I would be elated if he did. We have, as I said, resolved
I think 20 -- to his satisfaction, 27 of the 30 issues that we made.