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In Brief: Product liability

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Product liability: Senate fails twice to invoke cloture May 4 on a substitute amendment offered by Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.) to the product liability bill, HR 956. The substitute is a heavily amended version of the original Gorton/Rockefeller bill (S 565). The first vote (46-53) to limit debate fell short of the necessary 60 votes, with two Democrats, Sens. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.) and James Exon (Neb.), breaking ranks. In the second vote (47-52), Republican Strom Thurmond (S.C.) switched his vote in favor of cloture. Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole (R-Kan.) indicated before the votes that in the event of no cloture, another Gorton/Rockefeller amendment would be considered as a substitute; GOP leadership indicated that the measure is likely to be considered again the week of May 8...

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