08 October 1999
White House Report, Friday, October 8, 1999(Clinton/Senate/CTBT) (220) CLINTON ASKS SENATE TO DELAY VOTE ON NUCLEAR TEST BAN President Clinton, in Ottawa October 8, asked the U.S. Senate to delay its vote on a treaty to ban nuclear tests, saying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty appeared doomed to fail if voted on next week as scheduled. Debate on the floor of the Senate had just begun earlier in the day. "It is clear now that the level of opposition to the Treaty and the time it would take to craft the necessary safeguards to get the necessary votes are simply not there," Clinton told reporters at a news conference. "So I hope that the Senate will reach an agreement to delay the vote." He urged Republicans to "establish an orderly process, a nonpolitical orderly process, to systematically deal with all the issues that are out there and take whatever time is necessary to do it." The President accused the Republican leadership in the Senate of opposing the Treaty solely on political grounds and for political purposes. "This whole thing," he said, "is about politics." Since 1996, the Treaty has been signed by 154 nations already, but it would go into effect only if it is ratified by 44 nuclear-capable countries, including the United States. So far, 26 countries of those needed to ratify have actually ratified the Treaty.