I am signing H.R. 6179, the Arms Control and Disarmament Act Amendments of 1977. H.R. 6179 authorizes fiscal year 1978 appropriations of $16,600,000 for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
The bill also adds a new section 37 to the Arms Control and Disarmament Act, declaring the sense of the Congress that adequate verification of compliance should be an indispensable part of any international arms control agreement. The section provides for the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency to furnish to the Congress information regarding verification, including the degree to which each element of any significant arms control proposal made to or by the United States can be verified by existing national technical means. The report of the Conference Committee points out that this provision is not intended to interfere with the President's ability to conduct arms control negotiations but is intended to emphasize the responsibility of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency to keep Congress informed on these matters.
As Congress recognizes by the adoption of the Conference Report, the conduct of negotiations with other nations is the responsibility of the President under our Constitution. But I share Congress belief in the importance of consultation and close cooperation on these matters, and I am confident that we shall continue to work together in a manner that is consistent with our respective constitutional responsibilities in the conduct of the Nation's foreign policy. It is in this spirit that I am signing this legislation.