FLANK DOCUMENT AGREEMENT TO THE CFE TREATY (Senate - May 14, 1997)

[Page: S4464]

Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, I am pleased the administration has decided not to contest condition 9 in the resolution of ratification now before the Senate. That condition makes the advice and consent of the Senate a condition precedent to the addition of parties to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Any agreement between the administration and the Government of Russia or other states that were part of the Soviet Union which purports to enlarge the ABM Treaty by adding new parties must be submitted to the United States Senate and a resolution of ratification approved by the Senate before it will have the force and effect of law.

There are important reasons why it is necessary for the Senate to insist on its constitutional role in treaty making in this resolution. The administration has announced its intent not to submit a memorandum of understanding on succession to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification, and it purports to transform the ABM Treaty from a bilateral agreement into a multilateral accord.

The addition of new parties to the ABM Treaty clearly would have serious national security implications for the United States. It would make it much more difficult and time consuming to negotiate other changes in the treaty that may be considered necessary in the future to protect our security interests.

Unless the Senate insists on fulfilling its advice and consent responsibilities with respect to the ABM Treaty, there may be a mistaken view taken by the administration that a demarcation amendment being negotiated now with Russia could likewise be the subject of an executive agreement without the benefit of Senate ratification.

I am concerned that by our inaction the Senate could be forfeiting its constitutional role in the making of treaties. It should be clear that no treaty or material change in a treaty can be entered into by our government without the consent of the Senate. That is what the Constitution says, and that is what condition 9 says, and that is what the Senate says today as it provides advice and consent to ratification of the amendments to the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty.