The White House, reacting to a proposal from Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wis.), said today it would make "maximum benefit" of any new suggestions by the Scowcroft commission regarding strategic arms talks with the Soviets.
Aspin urged the President's Commission on Strategic Forces Monday to put forward a new, "bipartisan" and more flexible proposal for a treaty to reduce intercontinental nuclear missiles.
Presidential spokesman Larry Speakes told reporters here that the administration would "hold our own counsel" on the question of a new negotiating position.
But he said the administration, which is now reviewing its position during the current recess in the Geneva talks, would "seek maximum benefit" from any commission suggestions.
The commission is chaired by retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who was national security affairs adviser to President Ford.
In a report earlier this year, the commission called for deployment of the MX missile and the development of a small, single-warhead missile while also urging the pursuit of arms control agreement with the Soviets.
Scowcroft is expected to respond to Aspin in the next few days.
Speakes said President Reagan's original mandate for the commission was "broad" and included arms control issues as well as the MX.
A vote is expected on MX appropriations shortly after Congress reconvenes Sept. 12. Aspin warned that the administration would lose the vote unless it agreed to a new, more flexible bipartisan negotiating position in Geneva.
The White House has been concerned about a slippage in congressional support for the MX, but Speakes did not say whether Aspin's specific suggestion would be accepted.