October 29,1999

Roth Urges Democrats to Put Aside Partisan Politics and Support Africa Trade Bill

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today released the following statement on the Senate's inability to invoke cloture on the managers amendment to the Africa trade bill. The cloture motion failed by a vote of 45 to 46 -- 60 votes are required to achieve cloture. Majority Leader Lott filed a second cloture motion on the bill Friday afternoon which will ripen Tuesday.

"It is unfortunate that a bill with such strong bipartisan support was blocked for reasons unrelated to the substance of this legislation," Roth stated. "I will not give up on this bill-- a bill that has the support of at least 80 senators--a bill that has the support of the strongest coalition of political, civic and religious leaders of any measure I have seen in years.

"I have drafted a bill here that is a benefit to workers and industry here in the United States, as well as neighbors in the Caribbean, Central America, and Africa. It is a 'win-win' situation economically for American workers and our friends abroad.

"I hope that the opposition will be able to overcome their partisan politics and agendas and not turn their backs on legislation that is good for Americans, good for the economy, and critical in establishing trade relations with our African neighbors."