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DATE=6/29/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251233 TITLE=CONGRESS / MISSILE DEFENSE (L) BYLINE=PAULA WOLFSON DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE U-S CONGRESS HAS FINALLY SENT PRESIDENT CLINTON A COPY OF THE MISSILE DEFENSE BILL FOR HIS SIGNATURE. THE LEGISLATION, PASSED BY THE HOUSE AND SENATE MONTHS AGO, CLEARED CAPITOL HILL EASILY. V-O-A'S PAULA WOLFSON REPORTS CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS SEE THIS BILL AS A VIVID EXAMPLE OF THEIR COMMITMENT TO NATIONAL SECURITY. TEXT: USUALLY, WHEN THE HOUSE AND SENATE FINISH WORK ON A BILL, IT IS SENT TO THE WHITE HOUSE WITH LITTLE CEREMONY. BUT REPUBLICAN LEADERS SAY PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS LONG NEGLECTED THE NATION'S DEFENSE. THIS PIECE OF LEGISLATION LEFT CAPITOL HILL WITH A BIG FANFARE. THEY GATHERED LAWMAKERS ON THE CAPITOL GROUNDS TO WATCH AS THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE AND THE SENIOR MEMBER OF THE SENATE PUT THEIR SIGNATURES TO THE MEASURE -- THE LAST STEP BEFORE TRANSMITTAL TO THE WHITE HOUSE. SPEAKER DENNIS HASTERT SAID THE BILL, WHICH MANDATES CREATION OF A U-S ANTI-MISSILE SHIELD, IS NEEDED MORE THAN EVER IN THE POST-COLD WAR WORLD. /// HASTERT ACT /// WHILE THE SOVIET THREAT IS GONE, NEW THREATS HAVE ARISEN. INSTEAD OF HAVING ONE LONE SUPERPOWER THREATEN US WITH NUCLEAR HARM, WE NOW FACE NUCLEAR THREATS FROM ROGUE NATIONS AND TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS. AND AMERICA MUST STAND READY TO DEFEND ITSELF. /// END ACT /// FOR MANY YEARS, REPUBLICANS LED THE FIGHT FOR AN ANTI-MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM. DEMOCRATS BEGAN TO JOIN THEM IN RECENT MONTHS, CITING THE 1998 FINDINGS OF A SPECIAL COMMISSION SET UP BY CONGRESS TO STUDY THE NATURE OF THE NUCLEAR THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES. THE COMMISSION, LED BY A TEAM OF THE NATION'S TOP DEFENSE EXPERTS, FOUND THE RISK OF ATTACK IS RISING MUCH FASTER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT. THEIR REPORT HELPED CONVINCE SENATOR JOSEPH LIEBERMAN, A CONNECTICUT DEMOCRAT, TO BACK THE LEGISLATION.. /// LIEBERMAN ACT /// I THINK HISTORY WILL LOOK BACK AT THE PASSAGE OF THIS BILL AND SEE IT AS A TURNING POINT, AS A DEFINING MOMENT IN OUR NATIONAL SECURITY HISTORY. /// END ACT /// THE PRESIDENT IS EXPECTED TO SIGN THE MEASURE. THE PROPOSED DEPLOYMENT HAS ANGERED RUSSIA, WHICH SEES THE CREATION OF A U-S ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEM AS A VIOLATION OF EXISTING ARMS CONTROL TREATIES. ON MONDAY, A SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL SAID WASHINGTON AND MOSCOW HOPE TO WORK OUT THEIR DIFFERENCES AND COME UP WITH A LIST OF TREATY MODIFICATIONS BY NEXT JUNE. (SIGNED) NEB/PW/WTW 29-Jun-99 12:37 PM EDT (1637 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .