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The Council for a Livable World today issued the following statement and the 48 - 51 vote (with one present) against the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: TEST BAN TREATY DEFEATED; REPUBLICAN POLITICS DAMAGE NATIONAL SECURITY October 13, 1999 Washington, D.C. . . This evening the Senate has defeated the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by an overwhelmingly party line vote. The defeat marks a disastrous setback for efforts to protect the American people from the spread of nuclear weapons. The test ban treaty is the culmination of worldwide efforts dating back to Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy to prevent additional countries from developing nuclear weapons and the existing nuclear powers from improving theirs. John Isaacs, president of Council for a Livable World, stated: "The major loser is U.S. national security. Militant forces that want to test and deploy new nuclear weapons will be dancing in the streets of India, Pakistan, China and Russia tonight." While the defeat is a bitter blow, supporters of the treaty will continue to work hard for its ratification. "We will push for a new vote as soon as practicable, when there is more time for the facts and the arguments to be put before the American people," said Isaacs. "We will campaign on the advantages of the treaty and stress the disadvantage of failing to bring the treaty into force." The opposition within the Republican Party to a treaty supported by more than 80 percent of the American people and even 80 percent of Republicans shows that the Republication Party remains a captive of its extreme right wing and old cold warriors. Isaacs accused Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of "playing games with an important national security issue by scheduling a quick 'gotcha' vote without extensive hearings or careful consideration." He also blamed Lott for enforcing party discipline to keep Republicans in line against the treaty in order to score political points against President Clinton. Isaacs criticized Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms for remaining locked in a time warp where the Soviet Union colossus dominates eastern Europe and the Red Army faces NATO forces across Europe. For two years Helms has refused to hold hearings or schedule a vote in his committee. Isaacs reminded Americans of President Eisenhower's wise counsel only half a century ago: "I am convinced that a cessation of nuclear weapons tests, if it is to alleviate rather than merely to conceal the threat of nuclear war, should be undertaken as part of a meaningful program to reduce that threat." Isaacs concluded: "We have encountered setbacks in the past. The struggle will continue until we are successful." # # # John Isaacs Council for a Livable World 110 Maryland Avenue, NE - Room 409 Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 543-4100 x.131 FAX (202) 543-6297