Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Anti-Terrorism Bill Gets Boost Clinon Accepts Gop's Limits on Appeals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Anti-Terrorism Bill Gets Boost Clinon Accepts Gop's Limits on Appeals

Article excerpt

Anti-terrorism legislation inched toward a Senate vote after President Bill Clinton reversed his position and accepted the GOP goal of including in the bill limits on appeals by death row inmates.

The Senate had planned to vote on the full bill Tuesday night, but it scheduled a vote for this morning on ending the debate.

Clinton's move was his second conciliatory gesture this week regarding the legislation, which was inspired by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19. Earlier, he had urged both Democrats and Republicans to "curb politics" and stop trying to amend the legislation.

But the accommodating words from Clinton were not enough to prevent an outbreak of partisan hubris on the Senate floor and a renewed threat by Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., to withdraw the legislation unless Democrats cut back their proposed amendments further.

"We're not going to continue this game," said Dole, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. "The time is running out for this bill to be on the floor, make no mistake about it."

Noting that the Democrats had proposed several amendments related to gun laws, Dole said: "It's an effort by Democrats to bring up all the gun amendments they've been keeping in their closet. . . . I think it's time for them to start supporting their president. They ought to get behind President Clinton on this bill."

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., retorted: "We care just as deeply as anybody else about what happened in Oklahoma City. . . . We will stay in all night long if we have to, to do it."

If Dole withdrew the measure, Daschle said, the Democrats would append it to the coming telecommunications bill and "every other bill" in coming weeks.

Daschle said the Democrats still had 15 or 16 proposed amendments as of Tuesday afternoon, down from more than 60 when senators returned from their weeklong recess Monday morning. Democrats pared their original list down to about 20.

The House has yet to schedule hearings or a vote on its version of the bill, but Republican leaders have pledged floor action by the end of the month.

As recently as May 25, Clinton told Dole that he did not want to address limits on death penalty appeals in the anti-terrorism bill. …

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