CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION (Senate - April 24, 1997)

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U.S. SENATE,

Office of the Majority Leader,
Washington, DC, March 18, 1997.

Hon. William Jefferson Clinton,
President of the United States, The White House, Washington, DC.

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Dear Mr. President: As you know, we have been working in good faith to try to establish a process under which the Senate might consider a resolution of ratification for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

As we consider the next steps in this process, I want to remind you of two problems that remain unresolved. First, on January 8, 1997, I wrote to you expressing concerns about your administration's approach to a number of critical arms control issues, including demarcation limits and multilateralization of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 (ABM Treaty) and about the flank limits to the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty of 1990 (CFE Treaty). To date, I have not received a response. Each of these significant treaty modifications are subject to the constitution's shared treaty making power and, accordingly, cannot enter into force until receiving the advice and consent of the United States Senate.

Second, I have repeatedly pointed out that the CWC is currently under consideration by the Committee on Foreign Relations. Accordingly, it is essential that you and your administration honor the publicly-stated commitments to work closely and expeditiously with Chairman Helms on issues before the Committee, including the presentation of a plan to reorganize U.S. foreign affairs agencies. Until that occurs, Chairman Helms has made it clear to me that he is unlikely to consider next steps in the CWC process.

As I have said privately and publicly, bipartisanship must be a two-way street. I look forward to hearing from you soon on these important issues. With best wishes, I am,

Sincerely,
Trent Lott.