House Votes To Lift Arms Embargo

Ignoring a veto threat, the House delivered a stinging rebuke to President Clinton’s Balkans policy Tuesday, voting 298-128 to end U.S. participation in an international arms embargo in Bosnia.

The vote also reflected disenchantment over the faltering U.N. peacekeeping effort in war-ravaged Bosnia and NATO’s failure to protect unarmed civilians from continuing atrocities by Serbian aggressors.

“The situation has unmasked a crisis of leadership in the White House and in the West in general,” said Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., an assessment that typified statements of disappointment with the inability of the United States and its allies to force a political settlement in the civil war. “The (allied) policy has been marked by confusion, contradiction and, ultimately, acquiescence.”

The moral outrage underlying the vote was expressed pointedly by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., who said the embargo had to be lifted “if we are to retain our membership in the human race.”

Clinton met earlier Tuesday with 15 House members - including four Republicans - at the White House to implore them to rally their colleagues against the embargo bill, which had passed the Senate by a 69-29 margin last week. Clinton renewed his vow to veto the bill.

Despite Clinton’s appeal, 93 Democrats joined 204 Republicans and Independent Bernard Sanders of Vermont in voting in favor of lifting the embargo.

As in the Senate, the margin in the House was bigger than needed to override a veto. But congressional aides said the president could probably change enough votes in the Senate to sustain his veto. xxxx HOW THEY VOTED How the region’s congressmen voted IDAHO Republicans - Chenoweth, yes; Crapo, yes. MONTANA Democrats - Williams, no. WASHINGTON Republicans - Dunn, yes; Hastings, yes; Metcalf, yes; Nethercutt, yes; Smith, yes; Tate, yes; White, yes. Democrats - Dicks, no; McDermott, no.

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