The Republican Congress and President Clinton appear headed for a new veto battle over abortion restrictions, this time on a bill containing foreign-policy priorities.
The House on Thursday approved a measure authorizing an array of State Department programs as well as an $800 million installment on back U.N. dues - but with a provision barring money from going to international family planning organizations that advocate abortion.Clinton previously had indicated he would veto such a deal, and Democrats said anew on Thursday that he would carry through on the threat.
But House Speaker Newt Gingrich called on Clinton in a letter to sign the measure when it reaches his desk.
Ignoring the dispute over the anti-abortion clause, Gingrich told Clinton: "The House of Representatives has done the right thing in passing this bill. Now you should do the right thing by signing this bill and allowing the United Nations to receive the money allotted."
The bill, authorizing $13 billion in State Department programs over the next two years, next goes to the Senate. Because it represents a compromise worked out last year by House and Senate negotiators, the Senate can accept it or reject it but not change it further.