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

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Mr. HELMS. Mr. President, I appreciate very much the comments by the distinguished ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee. I must say for the record that I also enjoy the privilege of working with him. I think the committee has been more active in the last year or two than it has been for some time. But in any case, I am grateful to Senator Biden.

Mr. President, the history of the succession agreements to the various treaties concluded between the United States and the Soviet Union further supports the case for Senate consideration of ABM multilateralization. In only one case was advice and consent not required for multilateralization on an arms control treaty. Because the INF Treaty carried the so-called negative obligation of not possessing any intermediate-range nuclear missiles , that treaty could be multilateralized without altering any treaty terms or imposing any new treaty rights or obligations on the United States or new parties.

Multilateralization of the START I Treaty under the Lisbon Protocol, on the other hand, required Senate advice and consent because this change had clear implications for the treaty's text and object and purpose. The Lisbon Protocol determined the extent to which countries other than Russia would be allowed to possess strategic nuclear weapons. Similarly, ratification of the Lisbon Protocol also effectively determined successorship questions to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, NPT. Under that protocol, Belarus and other countries agreed to a legally binding commitment to join the NPT as nonnuclear weapons states. Thus when the Senate offered its advice and consent to the Lisbon Protocol, it approved successorship to both the INF and the START treaties.

Finally, the Senate specifically considered the question of multilateralization of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe under condition 5 of the resolution of ratification for the CFE Treaty.

Under article II, section 2, clause 2 of the Constitution, the Senate holds a co-equal treaty-making power. John Jay made one of the most cogent arguments in this respect, noting:

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Of course, treaties could be amended, but let us not forget that treaties are made not only by one of the contracting parties, but by both, and consequently that as the consent of both was essential to their formation at first, so must it ever afterwards be in order to alter . . . them.

Now, my colleagues of the Senate may disagree on the wisdom of continuing the national strategy embodied in the ABM Treaty. Where I hope all of our colleagues could agree, however, is on the imperative of upholding the constitutional responsibilities of the Senate, as reposed in this body by the Founding Fathers.

Mr. Justice Frankfurter stated:

The accretion of dangerous power does not come in a day. It does come, however, slowly, from the generative force of unchecked disregard of the restrictions that fence in even the most disinterested assertion of authority.

I know the administration has demonstrated nothing if not disregard for the Senate's constitutional authority. The Senate's duty with regard to the issue of ABM multilateralization is, I believe, Mr. President, clear.

I yield the floor.