Statement on Senate Approval of Funding for the MX Missile

May 25, 1983

I salute Republican and Democratic Members of the House and Senate who have made a decisive, historic contribution to our nation's security. Thanks to them, America is blessed with a new bipartisan unity that can make us both stronger and safer than before.

As we prepare to leave for Williamsburg and confer with other leaders of the free world, I can think of no more welcome message to give them than the one Congress has just given me: back-to-back votes of confidence in the recommendations of the Scowcroft commission to modernize our strategic forces and carry us forward on the road to genuine arms reductions.

In coming weeks, the Members of the Congress will be asked to reaffirm their votes of yesterday and today. I pledge to them my full cooperation and consultation. I also pledge to continue working closely with the Congress in pursuit of a reduction of nuclear arsenals.

We understand the task ahead. We have demonstrated our unity and courage. We have reason to hope for a more secure and peaceful future. My fondest wish is for the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. In this spirit, I urge the Soviets to join us at Geneva in taking that first giant step -- an equitable and verifiable agreement that substantially reduces the level of nuclear arsenals on both sides.

The time for progress in negotiations is now. The citizens of the world want nothing more, and they deserve nothing less.