Iraqi scientists yielding information on their country's weapons of mass destruction would be given safe haven in the United States under a bill the Senate approved Wednesday.
The bill, which would cover up to 500 weapons scientists and their families, comes as the United States threatens war against the Iraq unless leader Saddam Hussein agrees to disarm.
"We owe it to Iraq's people and its neighbors to do everything we can to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction programs," said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden, D-Del. "We owe it to our own people to do all we can to achieve that end peacefully."
Biden co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
The Senate adopted the measure by voice vote just before adjourning for the year. If the House does not approve it Friday when it meets for the last time, lawmakers will have to begin work on the measure anew when the new Congress convenes in January.