Treaty Ratification

January 29, 1988

Report Outline
Special Focus


Before the INF Treaty can take effect, it must receive the Senate's blessing. The procedure by which the Senate confers or withholds its “advice and consent” is a product of 200 years of controversy, precedent and Supreme Court rulings.

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“Now that the treaty has been signed, it will be submitted to the Senate for the next step, the ratification process….I am confident that the Senate will now act in an expeditious way to fulfill its duty under our Constitution.”

On this hopeful note, President Reagan relinquished the long-awaited intermediate-range nuclear-forces (INF) treaty to the U.S. Senate for its “advice and consent.” The agreement, signed Dec. 8 by Reagan and Soviet leader Milkhail S. Gorbachev during their Washington summit, had been six years in the making. If it is ratified, the INF treaty—the first arms control agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union in 15 years—will eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Constitution and Separation of Powers
Sep. 07, 2012  Re-examining the Constitution
Jan. 29, 1988  Treaty Ratification
Mar. 27, 1987  Bicentennial of the Constitution
Jan. 31, 1986  Constitution Debate Renewed
Mar. 16, 1979  Calls for Constitutional Conventions
Jul. 04, 1976  Appraising the American Revolution
Sep. 12, 1973  Separation of Powers
Jul. 12, 1972  Treaty Ratification
Apr. 19, 1967  Foreign Policy Making and the Congress
Mar. 05, 1947  Contempt of Congress
May 10, 1945  The Tariff Power
Jul. 01, 1943  Executive Agreements
Jun. 01, 1943  Advice and Consent of the Senate
May 24, 1943  Modernization of Congress
Jan. 18, 1943  The Treaty Power
Aug. 24, 1942  Congress and the Conduct of War
May 09, 1940  Congressional Powers of Inquiry
Nov. 09, 1939  Participation by Congress in Control of Foreign Policy
Apr. 21, 1937  Revision of the Constitution
Feb. 24, 1936  Advance Opinions on Constitutional Questions
Oct. 04, 1935  Federal Powers Under the Commerce Clause
Jun. 19, 1935  The President, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court
Sep. 10, 1928  The Senate and the Multilateral Treaty
Dec. 16, 1926  The Senate's Power of Investigation
Oct. 03, 1924  Pending Proposals to Amend the Constitution
Arms Control and Disarmament
International Law and Agreements