The Anti-Terror Bill, Part II

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Clinton met with Senate and House leaders in a bipartisan conference Monday to pinpoint new terrorism measures they might pass in the aftermath of the TWA Flight 800 explosion and the Olympic Park bombing. But they came to no agreement in the discussions, which will continue in the House Tuesday. Clinton renewed his request for expanded wiretap authority and chemical tracers in explosives, the President's pet issues that were removed from the anti-terrorism bill that he signed April 24. The first provision, often called "roving wiretaps," would allow the FBI to wiretap all telephones used by a suspected terrorist. The chemical tracer provision, opposed by the National Rifle Association and many Republican representatives, was weakened by Congress to cover only plastic explosives. Other provisions Clinton presented, according to the Associated Press: allowing terrorists to be prosecuted under federal racketeering laws; extending the statute of limitations for terrorism laws; expanding funding levels for the FBI. Afterward, Republicans and Democrats alike said they expected to move quickly. (For the record, congressional leaders said the same thing after the Oklahoma City bombing last year.) TIME's James Carney reports that they'll have to propose and pass an anti-terrorism bill this week if they want to take advantage of the edgy atmosphere that has arisen in the wake of the Olympic Park bombing. "A month-long recess of Congress begins Friday," Carney says. "If they wait until after that, they'll have the NRA to contend with. The NRA launched an effective campaign last time, which nearly gutted the anti-terrorism act, so we'll just have to see." -->