Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

« The Panama Canal Treaties

List 2

for treaty ratification

Robert Byrd [WV]

You are the Democratic Majority Leader.

Howard Baker [TN]

You are the Republican Minority Leader.

Both of you support the President by favoring the treaty.

Richard (Dick) Stone [Democrat-FL]

You are undecided about the treaty. You have pledged never to withdraw or reduce military forces from Guantanamo, Cuba or other places in the Caribbean. You eventually decide in favor of the treaty.

Robert Griffin [Republican-MI]

You would not give your support to the treaty, but you promised not to vote for the "killer amendments" and would not join groups working against the treaty.

Quentin Burdick [Democrat-ND]
John Melcher [Democrat-MT]

Both of you are concerned about maintenance of the Canal after it is turned over to Panama. The President meets with each of you, but you both eventually vote against the treaty.

Richard Schweiker [Republican-PA]

You want a future sea-level canal (a canal without a series of locks that raise and lower ships across the isthmus) that would replace the existing one. You vote against the treaty.

Ted Stevens [Republican-AL]

You are concerned about a rise in the cost of shipping Alaskan oil. You vote against the treaty.

Edward Zorinsky [Democrat-NE]

You would like to become a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and you have admitted that the treaty would be for the best. You met with the President and told him that you are worried about how the public back home feels. You placed an ad in the paper back home and received a favorable response, but you still voted against the treaty.

James Allen [Democrat-AL]

You are one of the leaders of the opposition forces. On March 3, you announced that the amendments introduced to stall action on the treaties would be withdrawn. This meant that you thought the treaties would be clearly defeated.

Russell Long [Democrat-LA]

The President invited you to lunch to gain your support for the treaty. You agreed to vote for the treaty, but you left open the possibility of supporting amendments which would require a treaty referendum in Panama (which the President wants to avoid).

Sam Nunn [Democrat-GA]

You are undecided at first, then lean towards supporting the treaty. When you commit your support to the President, he asks your help in convincing Senators Long, Talmadge, and Paul Hatfield.

(Sen. Hatfield might be swayed by your decision, because he values your viewpoint about military concerns.)

Dennis DeConcini [Democrat-AZ]

You have introduced an amendment to the treaty. The President and his staff are afraid that this will cause great problems with Panama. The amendment to the Neutrality Treaty would give the U.S. the right to negotiate military bases after 2000. The President has asked you to introduce this as an amendment to the resolution of ratification rather than to the treaty itself. If an amendment was made to the treaty itself, Panama would have to hold another referendum that might not pass. You do ask for amendments to the resolution of ratification, and you vote in favor of the treaty.

**Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher works with Senators Nunn and DeConcini on last minute wording of the amendments to the resolution of ratification.

Paul Hatfield [Democrat-MT]

You are undecided, particularly because you are afraid that Mike Mansfield, the ambassador to Japan, could sway public opinion about this issue to make you look bad. You finally decide to support the treaties.

Herman Talmadge [Democrat-GA]

After much persuasion, your staff called Frank Moore to say that you would support the treaty. You are very conservative and feel strongly about keeping control of the Canal, but you may have been swayed by the fact that the President is a fellow Georgian.

Henry Bellmon [Republican-OK]

You are interested in a desalinization plant to be located in Oklahoma. You might consider voting in favor of the treaty if the President would not veto the public works bill that calls for this plant. The President's staff said that he would not veto this bill. Also, Senator Lloyd Bentsen (Dem.-TX) called you and asked you to support the treaty. After a long time of indecision, you decide in favor of the treaty.

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Last modified: September 24, 2020