Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, urged President Bush late Friday not to veto a bill designed, in part, to punish companies that help other nations make chemical and biological weapons.
The Senate passed the Export Administration Act despite a threat from Bush to veto it. The State Department complained it would not give the president enough flexibility.But Garn in a speech on the Senate floor said the bill calls for the administration to determine whether companies knowingly helped others develop or use chemical or biological weapons. If so, it mandates sanctions for a year - but Garn said sanctions can be tailored to meet the situation.
Garn complained the State Department's action seeks "some diplomatic excuse for the United States to let a company selling chemical weapons to Iraq - or a country like Iraq that gasses its own people - to get off scot-free."
Garn said a veto would be "a terrible mistake," and "I hope (Bush) will not listen to the State Department."