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.