Voice of America 3/19/97

SENATE-CHEMICAL WEAPONS (S)


TITLE=
BYLINE=DAVID SWAN
DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

///// EDS: CAN BE USED WITH PEMSTEIN LONG ON CHEM WEAPONS TREATY./////

INTRO: DEMOCRATS IN THE U-S SENATE ARE TURNING UP THE PRESSURE FOR A VOTE ON WHETHER TO RATIFY THE WORLDWIDE CHEMICAL WEAPONS TREATY. V-O-A'S DAVID SWAN REPORTS, THE MOVE COULD MAKE IT HARDER TO SETTLE ANOTHER DISPUTE INVOLVING MEXICO.

TEXT: THE TREATY'S SUPPORTERS ARE PUSHING FOR A VOTE BY APRIL 29TH, WHEN THE AGREEMENT TAKES EFFECT. IF IT IS NOT RATIFIED BY THEN, THE UNITED STATES WILL HAVE NO PART IN ENFORCING OR OVERSEEING THE PACT.

IN AN EFFORT TO FORCE THE ISSUE, DEMOCRATS VOW TO BLOCK OTHER BILLS ON THE SENATE FLOOR THIS WEEK, UNLESS REPUBLICANS AGREE TO SCHEDULE A CHEMICAL WEAPONS VOTE. THIS COULD THREATEN A PROPOSED COMPROMISE ON THE THORNY ISSUE OF WHETHER MEXICO IS COOPERATING IN THE DRUG WAR.

BUT MINORITY LEADER TOM DASCHLE SAYS HE IS DETERMINED TO BRING UP THE TREATY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

// DASCHLE ACT //

I THINK WE ALSO RECOGNIZE THE EXTRAORDINARY IMPORTANCE OF THE DATE THAT HAS BEEN SET FOR THE UNITED STATES TO RATIFY THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION.

// END ACT //

REPUBLICANS HAVE SO FAR REFUSED TO MOVE THE TREATY UNLESS IT UNDERGOES MAJOR CHANGES. MANY LAWMAKERS OPPOSED TO THE AGREEMENT SAY IT WILL NOT STOP THE DEVELOPMENT OF POISON GAS AND COULD NEVER BE PROPERLY VERIFIED. (SIGNED)

NEB/DS/RAE

19-Mar-97 12:20 PM EST (1720 UTC)