Wednesday, March 08, 2006

GOP battles Arab ports takeover bid

WASHINGTON - In a congressional election-year repudiation of President Bush, a House panel dominated by Republicans voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to block a Dubai-owned firm from taking control of some U.S port operations. Democrats clamored for a vote in the Senate, too.
By 62-2, the House Appropriations Committee voted to bar DP World, run by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from holding leases or contracts at U.S. ports. The landslide vote was the strongest signal yet that more than three weeks of White House efforts to stunt congressional opposition to the deal have not been successful.
Bush has promised to veto any such measure passed by Congress. But there is widespread public opposition to the deal and the GOP fears losing its advantage on the issue of national security in this fall's elections. The White House said the president's position was unchanged.
"This is a national security issue," said Rep. Jerry Lewis (news, bio, voting record), the chairman of the House panel, adding that the legislation would "keep America's ports in American hands."

About time someone took a decisive stand against this bid - the truth is that it makes no sense checking some old lady's shoes for bombs in the airport, and then sell off strategic Atlantic ports to UAE company with shady business ties. If this pundit ever to disagree with Bush administration decision - this is it; GOP will not betray its principles and stand on America's side.