US Senate Rejects
Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty

WASHINGTON - The Senate on Wednesday voted to reject ratification of a global treaty banning nuclear testing, handing an embarrassing defeat to the Clinton administration, which had fought for U.S. endorsement of the accord.
Ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) failed by a vote of 48 to 51 with one voting present. The Senate's Republican majority overwhelmingly opposed the pact.
The final vote fell far short of the two-thirds majority --67 votes -- needed to ratify the treaty.
"With this fateful vote tonight, the world becomes a more dangerous place," said Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat. It was the first time the Senate has voted down a major arms control accord since the Treaty of Versailles after World War I and means the test-ban pact is now effectively doomed.
The Senate's refusal to endorse the landmark treaty was a stinging setback for President Bill Clinton, who was the first world leader to sign the treaty in 1996 and has set nuclear non-proliferation as a major foreign policy goal.
The treaty has been signed by more than 150 countries, but cannot go into force unless 44 nuclear-capable countries, including the United States, ratify it.