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Anti-Terrorism Plan Passes First Hurdle

Thu., Aug. 1, 1996

Key lawmakers reached agreement with the White House on Wednesday on a package of anti-terrorism measures that would expand wiretapping authority, aim to tighten airport security and allow prosecution of suspected terrorists under federal racketeering laws.

The negotiators, led by Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, said they hope to have a package ready for a vote by week’s end before Congress leaves for its August recess.

But Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., said earlier in the day that appears unlikely. “I don’t see how in the world we can get it done” by then, Lott told reporters.

Panetta said the anti-terrorism measures, several of which were proposed by President Clinton in response to the TWA Flight 800 explosion and the Olympics bombing, would give law enforcement new tools to confront “what is an increasing threat in our world today.”

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