WASHINGTON – The Senate's decision to vote on a resolution that expresses support for Israel but does not rebuke Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has convinced the House leadership to go ahead with a strongly critical resolution of Arafat that was pulled last week after an administration request.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., informed President Bush during their occasional congressional breakfast that the Senate will go ahead with a resolution proposed by Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. The vote could come as early as Thursday.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., told Fox News that "if the Senate is going to have a resolution on Israel than the House is certainly going to have one too."
Later in the day, Hastert and other House leaders decided to hold a vote Thursday on a slightly "tamped down" version of a resolution introduced by House Majority Whip Tom DeLay.
Last week, White House Chief of Staff Andy Card called DeLay and asked him not to go forward with a scheduled House vote that would have come Wednesday. The language in the Delay resolution is strongly pro-Israel and anti Arafat.
Card said DeLay's resolution was "not helpful" as the United States tries its hand at a diplomatic resolution to the Middle East crisis. DeLay agreed to pull the resolution. Now, it will return to the floor but with a modification that excludes a call for the United States to give Israel an additional $200 million in financial aid.
The Lieberman resolution is considered more even-handed. The White House has not expressed any reservations about its content, but sources say Secretary of State Colin Powell has asked Daschle not to bring a vote on the Lieberman resolution to stave off House plans to vote on the DeLay language.
Fox News' Jim Mills contributed to this report.
Carl Cameron currently serves as Fox News Channel's (FNC) Washington-based chief political correspondent. He joined FNC in 1996 as a correspondent.