In a final-hour search for votes, Sen. Orrin Hatch revised his proposed constitutional amendment on flag desecration Monday to say that Congress - not the states - may determine what that means.
“We have a better chance if we limit” the scope of the legislation, said Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Sometimes compromise is necessary.”
Even with the change the vote, scheduled for Tuesday, is expected to be close. Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota said there are still four undecided senators and the vote “could go either way.”
A two-thirds majority, 66 in the current 99-member Senate, is needed to approve a constitutional amendment. The House last June strongly endorsed, by a 312-120 vote, the broader version that gives both Congress and the states the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag.