GOP SENATORS SEEK 2ND VOTE ON CUBA BILL

GOP SENATORS SEEK 2ND VOTE ON CUBA BILL

Republican leaders will try again Tuesday to bring a bill tightening U.S. sanctions against Cuba to the Senate floor after failing to end debate on the legislation.

On Thursday night, the Senate fell four votes short of the 60 votes required for cloture, which would bring the Cuba bill to the floor. The final tally was 56-37. Six senators were not present for the vote, which came largely along party lines.The bill would tighten sanctions against the Castro government and allow Cuban-Americans to file lawsuits against businesses using private property in Cuba seized by the Cuban government after the revolution.

A milder version of the bill passed the House in September by a 294-130 vote. The Senate version is co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The bill is opposed by the Clinton administration.

Gary Jarmin, chairman of the U.S.-Cuba Foundation, a group of conservative Republicans that favor normalization with Cuba, said some Republicans who voted for cloture will vote against the bill when it comes to the floor.

If Tuesday's cloture vote fails, Mr. Jarmin predicted Mr. Helms will not move the bill until next spring, when the presidential primaries are in full swing. That will increase the political pressures on President Clinton to avoid a veto.