What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : A vote on passage of a Democratic amendment to S. 2400, the fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act that would revise a 1977 law that prohibits U.S. firms from doing business with states that sponsor terrorism. The amendment blocks companies from maneuvering around the law by using foreign subsidiaries to conduct business with countries such as Iran. (2004 senate Roll Call 101)
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A vote on passage of a Democratic amendment to S. 2400, the fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act that would revise a 1977 law that prohibits U.S. firms from doing business with states that sponsor terrorism. The amendment blocks companies from maneuvering around the law by using foreign subsidiaries to conduct business with countries such as Iran.
senate Roll Call 101     May 19, 2004
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
Yes

Senate conservatives just barely beat back a progressive-backed amendment offered by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) to S. 2400, the fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act. The Senate defeated, 49-50, Lautenberg's amendment that would revise a 1977 law that prohibits U.S. firms from doing business with states that sponsor terrorism. Lautenberg has said his amendment blocks companies from maneuvering around the law by using foreign subsidiaries to conduct business with countries such as Iran. "My amendment focuses on a key component of the war on terror; that is, to deny terrorists funding and support," Lautenberg said. "My amendment will close a loophole that allows U.S. companies to do business with terror-sponsoring nations, such as Iran." However, conservatives argued that his proposal, which would change the way in which sanctions are put on companies doing business abroad, would interfere with the president's discretion in conducting foreign affairs. Said Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), "It would lead to a number of foreign policy problems for the United States [and] it is unnecessary because the president exercises authority with respect to these foreign subsidiaries today," he said in opposing the amendment. After the vote defeating his proposal, Lautenberg said on the Senate floor: "I want everybody to remember that this vote that was just taken said it's all right to do business with Iran."

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