Warning!!! Inconvient facts to follow: Data from the Memory Hole approaching..........
In 1966, Republican't block Clinton's attempt to strengthen terrorist laws including wiretapping.(see end of citation)
President wants Senate to hurry with new anti-terrorism laws
clinton.sm July 30, 1996
Web posted at: 8:40 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton urged Congress Tuesday to act swiftly in developing anti-terrorism legislation before its August recess.
"We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue," Clinton said during a White House news conference.
But while the president pushed for quick legislation, Republican lawmakers hardened their stance against some of the proposed anti-terrorism measures.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, doubted that the Senate would rush to action before they recess this weekend. The Senate needs to study all the options, he said, and trying to get it done in the next three days would be tough.
Clinton said he knew there was Republican opposition to his proposal on explosive taggants, but it should not be allowed to block the provisions on which both parties agree.
"What I urge them to do is to be explicit about their disagreement, but don't let it overcome the areas of agreement," he said.
The president emphasized coming to terms on specific areas of disagreement would help move the legislation along. The president stressed it's important to get the legislation out before the weekend's recess, especially following the bombing of Centennial Olympic Park and the crash of TWA Flight 800.
"The most important thing right now is that they get the best, strongest bill they can out -- that they give us as much help as they can," he said.
Hatch blasts 'phony' issues
Republican leaders earlier met with White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta for about an hour in response to the president's call for "the very best ideas" for fighting terrorism.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerged from the meeting and said, "These are very controversial provisions that the White House wants. Some they're not going to get."
"If they want to, they can study the thing" already, Hatch asserted. He also said he had some problems with the president's proposals to expand wiretapping.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said it is a mistake if Congress leaves town without addressing anti-terrorism legislation. Daschle is expected to hold a special meeting on the matter Wednesday with Congressional leaders.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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