Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, issued statements supporting President Bush's action dealing with the conflict in Panama.

Hatch said Thursday he believes Bush is moving with appropriate care and firmness in dealing with Panama strongman Manuel Noriega."No, I don't favor abrogating the treaty and turning all of Central and South America against us," Hatch said, "unless someone tries to prevent us from using the canal."

He called the president's dispatch of troops a "sufficient and appropriate" response.

"I wish we had more support among Latin America," Hatch said.

"Eventually, the Panamanians are going to throw him out, and we have to wait for that," he said.

Owens said, "President Bush as commander in chief must act to protect Americans in Panama and stand up for principles of democracy and I can support that.

"I doubt that the president will attempt to maintain civil order down there between Panamanians," he said. "Certainly he has an obligation to protect American lives."