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GOP Senators Eye Tighter Export Controls

Leading Republican senators say the prospect of war with Iraq demonstrates the need to tighten controls on exports that could help America’s enemies. The four Republicans — with one Democrat — urged the Bush administration Monday to work with them to strengthen export controls. They want to shift authority over the exports from the Commerce Department to agencies charged with defending U.S. national security, such as the Defense, State and Homeland Security departments. “There is an inherent conflict of interest in resting the protection of our national security in the hands of a department that is charged with the promotion of U.S. business interests,” they said in a letter to Condoleezza Rice, the president’s national security adviser. The letter was signed by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. One Democrat — Sen. Russell Feingold of Wisconsin — also signed. Full Story

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