Nation: The Senate and the Soviets

Baker balks on SALT II, and Byrd flies off to Moscow

Twice he had told Jimmy Carter that he would not support the SALT II treaty unless it was amended. But the Carter Administration still thought that he would eventually change his mind. Last week, however, Senate Republican Leader Howard Baker Jr. seemed to slam the door on that possibility. At a packed Capitol Hill press conference, he announced bluntly: "I shall oppose the SALT treaty." It was a serious blow to the treaty's chances of being approved by the Senate.

What prompted Baker to...

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