Voice of America 4/24/97
CHEMICAL WEAPONS VOTE

BYLINE=DAVID SWAN
DATELINE=SENATE
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO: THE U-S SENATE HAS VOTED TO RATIFY
THE GLOBAL CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION,
GIVING PRESIDENT CLINTON A VICTORY AND
PRESERVING AMERICA'S ROLE IN ENFORCING
THE PACT. BUT TO WIN APPROVAL, MR. CLINTON
PLEDGED TO BACK OUT OF THE AGREEMENT IF
NECESSARY. V-O-A'S DAVID SWAN HAS DETAILS.

TEXT: THE FATE OF THE TREATY REMAINED
IN DOUBT UNTIL NEAR THE END OF A TWO-DAY
DEBATE, WHEN SUPPORTERS WON A TEST VOTE
AND SENATE MAJORITY LEADER TRENT LOTT
ANNOUNCED HE WOULD VOTE TO RATIFY.
HIS ENDORSEMENT WAS LESS THAN ENTHUSIASTIC.
STILL, HE DECLARED THE PACT WORTHWHILE.

// LOTT ACT //

I WILL VOTE FOR THE CONVENTION BECAUSE
THE JUDGMENT OF THE MOST SENIOR FORMER
AND CURRENT MILITARY COMMANDERS BELIEVE
IT WILL MAKE OUR SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN
AND MARINES MORE SAFE IN POTENTIAL
BATTLEFIELDS AND LESS LIKELY TO FACE THE
HORRIBLE PROSPECT OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS.
I WILL VOTE FOR THE CONVENTION BECAUSE I
BELIEVE THE UNITED STATES IS MARGINALLY
BETTER OFF WITH IT THAN WITHOUT IT.

// END ACT //

THE TREATY OUTLAWS THE USE, PRODUCTION
AND STOCKPILING OF POISON GAS BY COUNTRIES
THAT SIGN IT, AS MORE THAN 160 NATIONS HAVE.
IN A LAST- MINUTE BID FOR SUPPORT, MR. CLINTON
SAID THE UNITED STATES IS PREPARED TO
WITHDRAW FROM THE PACT IF IT UNEXPECTEDLY
THREATENS NATIONAL SECURITY. BUT HE FAILED
TO MOVE THE HARSHEST CRITICS, LIKE REPUBLICAN
JESSE HELMS, WHO ARGUES THE TREATY WILL
SIMPLY NOT STOP THE SPREAD OF CHEMICAL
WEAPONS.

// HELMS ACT //

MR. (SENATE) PRESIDENT, THIS TREATY WON'T
TOUCH -- WON'T TOUCH -- TERRORIST STATES LIKE
LIBYA, IRAQ, SYRIA AND NORTH KOREA. THE
ADMINISTRATION ADMITS THIS ITSELF. THE
ADMINISTRATION ALSO ADMITS THAT THIS TREATY
IS UNVERIFIABLE.

// END ACT //

MORE THAN 70 NATIONS HAVE ALREADY
RATIFIED THE CONVENTION. THE WHITE HOUSE
WAS ANXIOUS TO SEE THE UNITED STATES JOIN
THEM BEFORE THE PACT TAKES EFFECT NEXT
WEEK. AND DEMOCRATIC SENATOR JOSEPH
BIDEN SAYS THE NATION MUST NOT THROW
AWAY A CHANCE TO SHAPE THE FUTURE.

// BIDEN ACT //

THIS IS ABOUT LEADERSHIP. THIS IS ABOUT
THE ROLE OF UNITED STATES IN LEADING THE
WORLD. IF WE REFRAIN FROM EXERCISING THAT
OPPORTUNITY, AND WE WILL IF WE DO NOT
VOTE FOR THIS TREATY, WE WILL HAVE PASSED
UP AN OPPORTUNITY THAT AS I SAID, RARELY
COMES TO ANY NATION.

// END ACT //

THE VOTE COMES LONG AFTER THE UNITED
STATES SIGNED THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS
CONVENTION AND BARELY IN TIME TO MEET
NEXT WEEK'S DEADLINE. BUT IT SHOULD
GUARANTEE WASHINGTON A ROLE IN ENFORCING
THE TREATY. IT HAS ALSO BROUGHT MR. CLINTON
SUCCESS ON FORIEGN AFFAIRS, AT A TIME WHEN
HIS DOMESTIC POLICIES AND PERSONAL ETHICS
ARE UNDER ATTACK. (SIGNED)

NEB/DS/CF

24-Apr-97 11:17 PM EDT (0317 UTC)