Voice of America 4/9/97

SENATE/ CHEMICAL WEAPONS

BYLINE=DAVID SWAN
DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL
CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: U-S SENATE LEADERS ARE GRAPPLING WITH THE
QUESTION OF WHEN TO VOTE ON THE WORLDWIDE
CHEMICAL WEAPONS TREATY -- A VOTE THE WHITE
HOUSE BADLY WANTS TO OCCUR IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.
MEANWHILE, THE PACT'S SUPPORTERS AND OPPONENTS
ARGUED THEIR CASES AGAIN (WEDNESDAY) BEFORE A
KEY COMMITTEE (FOREIGN RELATIONS).

V-O-A'S DAVID SWAN REPORTS.

TEXT: FORMER UNITED NATIONS AMBASSADOR JEANE
KIRKPATRICK TOLD SENATORS (WEDNESDAY) THE TREATY
MAY BE WORSE THAN NOTHING, BECAUSE IT GIVES THE
COUNTRY A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY.

// KIRKPATRICK ACT //

PRESIDENT CLINTON SAID IN ONE STATEMENT THAT I READ
THAT "WE WILL HAVE BANISHED POISON GAS FROM THE
EARTH." WELL, THAT'S POETIC LICENSE OR POLITICIAN'S
LICENSE OR PRESIDENT'S LICENSE OR SOMETHING. BUT IT
SURELY IS NOT AN ACCURATE STATEMENT ABOUT WHAT
WILL BE THE CASE. THE COUNTRIES MOST LIKELY TO
PRODUCE AND USE POISON GAS ARE UNAFFECTED BY
THIS TREATY.

// END ACT //

HOWEVER, OTHER PROMINENT REPUBLICANS SUPPORT
THE TREATY. BRENT SCOWCROFT, WHO WAS NATIONAL
SECURITY ADVISOR FOR TWO PRESIDENTS (BUSH AND FORD),
SAYS THE UNITED STATES CAN NOT AFFORD TO BACK
DOWN.

// SCOWCROFT ACT //

IF WE REJECT THIS TREATY WE WILL INCUR THE BITTERNESS OF
ALL OF OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES WHO FOLLOWED US FOR TEN
YEARS IN PUTTING THIS THING TOGETHER.

// END ACT //

THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS THE TREATY RATIFIED BEFORE
IT TAKES EFFECT ON APRIL 29TH. REPUBLICAN LEADERS
SAY THEY INTEND TO BRING UP THE PACT FOR DEBATE
ON THE SENATE FLOOR NEXT WEEK -- BUT THEY HAVE
NOT YET AGREED TO SCHEDULE A VOTE.

THE OPPOSITION LAWMAKERS ARE ALSO DRAFTING
AMENDMENTS THAT COULD DRASTICALLY CHANGE THE
ACCORD. ONE PROPOSAL SAYS THE UNITED STATES SHALL
NOT OFFICIALLY RATIFY THE PACT UNTIL CHINA, LIBYA,
NORTH KOREA, SYRIA, IRAN AND IRAQ HAVE DONE SO.
SENATE MINORITY LEADER TOM DASCHLE CALLS THIS
AMENDMENT A "KILLER."

// DASCHLE ACT //

AND I'M VERY HOPEFUL THAT WE HAVE THE VOTES NECESSARY
WHEN THE TIME COMES, AND I'M CONFIDENT THAT WE WILL, TO
BEAT THESE ONEROUS AMENDMENTS.

// END ACT //

EVEN IF THE AMENDMENTS ARE BEATEN, BOTH PARTIES
PREDICT A FINAL VOTE ON RATIFICATION WOULD BE VERY
CLOSE. PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS INVITED ABOUT 20
LAWMAKERS TO THE WHITE HOUSE WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN
HOPES OF WINNING OVER SOME VOTES. (SIGNED)

NEB/DS/LWM

09-Apr-97 7:00 PM EDT (2300 UTC)