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Balancing Fear: Why Counter-Terror Legislation was Blocked after the Oklahoma City and London Bombings
Unformatted Document Text:  Americans. Their agenda is death and destruction on their own timetable” 69 . In response, Senator Dole threatened to “pull down” the counterterror bill if President Clinton did not rein in Democrats who had added 67 amendments to the bill 70 . Three days later, on June 7, 1995, seven weeks after the Oklahoma City bombing, the Senate overwhelmingly passed Bill Clinton’s counterterror legislation in a 91-8 vote 71 . The bill contained a key provision fought for by Republicans that limited the appeals of death row inmates in Federal courts 72 . Two weeks later, the House Judiciary Committee approved the legislation 73 , but it would rot in the House for a year before it would finally be passed. A coalition of far-right and far-left members of the House of Representatives stymied the bill on grounds of civil liberties and gun ownership rights 74 . Clinton’s anti-terrorism bill had been heralded by House Democrats, such as Dick Gephardt, who stated on May 15 1995 that, “We must do more than merely convicting those responsible for this horrific act of violence, and bringing them to swift and certain punishment. We must serve warning to all who would use extremist means to advance their extremist ideas: We will use the full force of our laws to find them, to punish them, and to rid our society of their hateful acts. And when those laws aren't enough, we'll write tough new laws to rein in their wanton bloodshed and terrorism.” 75 69 Harris, John F. “Clinton Criticizes Congress for Delay on Post-Bombing Anti-Terrorism Bill,” The Washington Post, 1 June 1995. 70 “Anti-terror legislation floundering, Dole says,” St. Petersburg Times, 5 June 1995. 71 Gray, Jerry. “Senate Approves Anti-terror Bill by a 91-to-8 Vote,” The New York Times, 8 June 1995. 72 “A Hasty Response to Terrorism,” The New York Times, 9 June 1995. 73 “Bill Builds Muscle to Fight Terrorists,” Herald Sun, 22 June 1995. 74 McDonald, Greg. “Clinton exhorts foes to set aside ideology,” The Houston Chronicle, 20 August 1995. 75 Gephardt, Richard. “The Antiterrorism Act of 1995,” Congressional Record (House of Representatives), 15 May 1995, pg. E1039. 29

Authors: Rubin, Gabriel.
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Americans. Their agenda is death and destruction on their own timetable
. In response,
Senator Dole threatened to “pull down” the counterterror bill if President Clinton did not
rein in Democrats who had added 67 amendments to the bill
Three days later, on June 7, 1995, seven weeks after the Oklahoma City bombing, the
Senate overwhelmingly passed Bill Clinton’s counterterror legislation in a 91-8 vote
.
The bill contained a key provision fought for by Republicans that limited the appeals of
death row inmates in Federal courts
. Two weeks later, the House Judiciary Committee
approved the legislation
, but it would rot in the House for a year before it would finally
be passed. A coalition of far-right and far-left members of the House of Representatives
stymied the bill on grounds of civil liberties and gun ownership rights
Clinton’s anti-terrorism bill had been heralded by House Democrats, such as Dick
Gephardt, who stated on May 15 1995 that,
“We must do more than merely convicting those responsible for this horrific act of
violence, and bringing them to swift and certain punishment. We must serve warning
to all who would use extremist means to advance their extremist ideas: We will use
the full force of our laws to find them, to punish them, and to rid our society of their
hateful acts. And when those laws aren't enough, we'll write tough new laws to rein in
their wanton bloodshed and terrorism.”
69
Harris, John F. “Clinton Criticizes Congress for Delay on Post-Bombing Anti-Terrorism Bill,” The
Washington Post, 1 June 1995.
70
“Anti-terror legislation floundering, Dole says,” St. Petersburg Times, 5 June 1995.
71
Gray, Jerry. “Senate Approves Anti-terror Bill by a 91-to-8 Vote,” The New York Times, 8 June 1995.
72
“A Hasty Response to Terrorism,” The New York Times, 9 June 1995.
73
“Bill Builds Muscle to Fight Terrorists,” Herald Sun, 22 June 1995.
74
McDonald, Greg. “Clinton exhorts foes to set aside ideology,” The Houston Chronicle, 20 August 1995.
75
Gephardt, Richard. “The Antiterrorism Act of 1995,” Congressional Record (House of Representatives),
15 May 1995, pg. E1039.
29


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