DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     May 18, 1998     vol. 9, no. 96

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The US House voted on Thursday to approve a proposed religious freedom bill that would impose automatic sanctions on countries which persecute religious groups, a bill which the Clinton administration opposes.

          The bill, approved 375-41, would create a State Department office to monitor and report on religious persecution, and mandates sanctions for countries guilty of persecution. A Clinton spokesman complained that the law restricts the administration's ability to conduct foreign policy and would force them to ignore abuses in order to avoid imposing sanctions.

          The law had also been opposed by the US Chamber of Commerce, which has traditionally been supportive of Republican politicians and agendas. "This kind of an issue can have a preeminent factor in your decision-making," said Bruce Josten, the Chamber of Commerce's executive vice president for government affairs. "Companies are going to stop, pause and think about this. Why would you continue to throw money at someone who's continuing to vote against your corporate interests." The Senate is expected to take up similar legislation later this year.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

May 18, 1998       volume 9, no. 96


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