Statement of Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) on Vote for CTBT

Gordon Smith Press Release
October 13, 1999

News Release
Gordon H. Smith
United States Senator for Oregon

News Release
For Immediate Release
October 13, 1999

Sen. Gordon Smith Votes for Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Cites Duty to Repair Treaty and Maintain Moral High Ground on Nuclear Disarmament

WASHINGTON Senator H. Smith today cast his vote in support of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). While the Senate soundly defeated ratification of the CTBT today, Smith said he felt a duty to support its premise and work to improve the treaty .

"While I believe the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is flawed, I cast my vote in support of it because of two other beliefs a belief that the Senate has the responsibility and the ability to fix the flaw; and a belief that America should not abandon the moral high ground on nuclear disarmament," said Smith.

The CTBT was first proposed by President Eisenhower in 1958; the current version was negotiated in the Geneva Conference on Disarmament from 1994-1996. The Treaty, banning all nuclear testing, has been signed by 151 other nations,, though only 41 states have ratified the treaty.

"It is not without reservation that I cast this vote today in support of the CTBT," said Smith. "Verification and enforcement flaws exist in the treaty. But these flaws can and should be fixed by the Senate. We have the time and the duty to do so. We abandon the high moral ground of nuclear disarmament by not doing so. Therefore, I voted aye, with clear conscience."