US: House votes to block UAE ports deal

A Republican-run House of Representatives committee voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to block a Dubai-owned company from taking control of some US port operations in an election-year repudiation of President George W. Bush. By 62-2, the House Appropriations Committee voted to bar DP World, run by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from holding leases or contracts at US ports. The vote underscored widespread public opposition to the deal and Republican fears of losing its edge on the issue of national security in November's elections. The panel's vote came as across the Capitol, Democrats clamored for a vote on the same issue in the GOP-led Senate. Bush has promised to veto any legislation that would stymie the deal. "We believe an overwhelming majority will vote to end the deal," said Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, whose attempt to force the issue to the floor brought the Senate to a late-afternoon standstill.