DAILY CATHOLIC FRI-SAT-SUN May 8-10, 1998 vol. 9, no. 90
NEWS & VIEWS
PERSECUTION BILL CAUGHT IN CONGRESS JURISDICTION SQUABBLES
WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The House Ways and Means Committee approved a religious persecution bill on Wednesday, after removing provisions enacting President Bill Clinton's economic sanctions against Sudan that had been approved by another committee.
Rep. Bill Archer, R-Texas, chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, said the International Relations Committee had overstepped its jurisdiction when it had cleared attachment of the sanctions proposed by Clinton last November to the bill. He criticized the committee for deciding to "openly legislate in the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means." The Ways and Means Committee's approval of the bill also lacked a recommendation for the full House's action.
The bill would create a special office with the State
Department to monitor religious persecution worldwide and
would impose economic sanctions, including denial of
foreign aid and visas and a ban on exports, against
countries that persecute religious minorities. Clinton has
said he opposes the bill because its goals could be
accomplished by other means. However, Clinton's opposition
may also be due to a potential clash with China, which has
consistently suppressed religious minorities and which the
Clinton administration has fought to grant favored trading
status. Clinton has also said the bill's mandatory
sanctions would force the administration to look the other
way to avoid imposing sanctions, despite the law's
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
NEWS & VIEWS