Radio Address to the Nation on the Soviet-United States Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
My fellow Americans:
week the full United States Senate is expected to begin floor debate on the
treaty on intermediate-range nuclear forces, known as the INF treaty. You'll
recall that Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev and I signed this treaty at our
summit meeting in
Before our nation can commit itself to a treaty, our Constitution provides that the Senate must give its advice and consent. And therefore, last January I formally submitted the INF treaty to the Senate for its consideration. The duty of the Senate in giving its advice and consent to treaties is vital to maintaining our separation of powers, and the role of the Senate is considering the -- in considering, I should say, the INF treaty -- it's essential.
Senior officials of the administration have been working closely with the Senate. Officials from our State and Defense Departments, our intelligence community, and our arms control agency have provided many hours of testimony before three separate Senate committees, painstakingly responding to the detailed questions posed to them by the Senators on these committees. In addition, Senators have addressed to the administration numerous letters about the treaty and more than 1,200 written questions. We have provided full written responses. So, you'll see that we've worked very hard to meet any Senate concerns over the treaty. And as I've assured the Senate, we'll continue to do so.
Now that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved the INF treaty, the entire Senate will be called on to discharge its constitutional responsibility to provide its advice and consent to the INF treaty. As this debate is about to begin in the historic Senate Chamber, permit me to take a moment to review with you the treaty's background.
INF treaty is the result of years of hard work by American officials, officials
who, in representing you in our negotiations with the
in 1987 it was the
It's my hope that, in recognition of the important role they play in this process, the 100 Members of the United States Senate will now proceed expeditiously in their debate on the INF treaty. It is, after all, a solid treaty, carefully negotiated; a treaty that stands on its own substantive merits; a treaty that will enhance the security of our country and that of our European and Asian allies now threatened by the various Soviet missiles that will be removed once the treaty is implemented. Senate approval of the treaty will enable us to get on with the job of eliminating these nuclear missiles. It will also allow us to put into action the elaborate verification regime that we achieved in the INF treaty. The most stringent in arms control history, it will enable us to verify effectively that the Soviets are indeed complying with all of the treaty's provisions.
I know that you, the American people, strongly support this INF treaty. And on Capitol Hill, the House of Representatives has already given the treaty its endorsement by an overwhelming vote of 393 to 7. Now that the treaty is moving to floor debate in the Senate, let the debate be vigorous and full, and let it proceed without delay. For I'm confident that the final vote will indeed give advice and consent to this historic treaty, the historic step toward a safer peace.
Until next week, thanks for listening, and God bless you.
Note: The President
spoke at from