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US Senate nears votes for nuclear waste bill
This is a positive step, if it succeeds!
WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Trent
Lott on Monday said the Senate was ``right on the verge'' of having
enough votes to override a threatened White House veto of a bill to
set up a temporary storage facility for nuclear utility radioactive
At a briefing with reporters, Lott of Mississippi also said he thought
President Clinton may be reassessing whether to veto the bill to build
a temporary dump in Nevada for high level radioactive waste from
However, a spokeswomen for Nevada's senators, who staunchly oppose
putting a temporary nuclear waste dump in their state, said that
Clinton was firm on his veto threat, and they still had Senate votes
to sustain a veto.
But Lott said he thought ``that the president may have second
thoughts'' about vetoing the measure.
``As I indicated, this is a very important nuclear waste issue that
the United States has not come to grips with. France has. Britain has.
Even Sweden has. But not the United States.'' Lott said.
``This is an issue that is, you know, it's there. It's not getting
better. It's getting worse. And we need to make some decisions on
that,'' he said.
Lott also said: ``I think we're right on the verge of having enough
votes to override the veto. But the president should do what's right
for the country, and he -- you know, we can get a conference report to
him. He should sign it.''
The House passed its nuclear waste interim storage bill with enough
votes to override a veto, but the Senate was two votes short of the
two-thirds a veto-proof margin when it passed its version of the bill
In a briefing as the Senate returned from a spring recess, Lott cited
the nuclear waste bill as being among the measures the Senate should
act on in coming weeks.
Spokeswomen for Nevada Sens. Harry Reid and Richard Bryan, both said
they did not see any change in the standoff over the veto threat that
had stalled the bill. They also have vowed to use procedural tactics
to block the Senate from acting on a final version of the bill sent
over from the House.
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