STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS
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Mr. OBAMA. Mr. President, Senator LUGAR has already outlined the legislation that we are reintroducing here today and the process that has led us to this point, so I will be brief.
I don't want my brevity to be confused with indifference towards this legislation. I want to underscore the importance of this bill in establishing a broad framework to more effectively combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and heavy conventional weapons. As I have said before, these are two critical issues that directly impact the security of the United States.
In some ways, the bill has already had its desired impact. There was a reorganization of the State Department that will improve the Department's ability to deal with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and heavy conventional weapons. Moreover, the legislation has focused additional high-level attention--the scarcest commodity in Washington--on these Issues.
However, there is more that needs to be done. I believe the Senate can and should move this bill in an expeditious fashion. We have already held a hearing on the bill, worked with the State Department to update and improve the legislation, and have received endorsements from an array of non-governmental organizations that follow these issues.
I will defer to the Chairman on the procedural issues, but my hope is that we can report this bill out of the Foreign Relations Committee as soon as possible and work for Senate passage shortly thereafter.
In closing, I want to thank Senator LUGAR for his steadfast commitment to these critical issues and look forward to collaborating with him in the coming months on this legislation.