House panel votes to block ports deal Wed Mar 8, 2006 7:52 PM ET Printer Friendly | Email Article | Reprints | RSS (Page 1 of 2) Top News Senators craft budget with $90 bln for war Moussaoui had dream to hit W.House: witness Bodies found garroted in Baghdad MORE By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. House of Representatives committee on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to block an Arab-owned company from managing American ports, defying President George W. Bush who has vigorously supported the deal. By a vote of 62-2, the House Appropriations Committee approved a measure to stop the state-owned United Arab Emirates company Dubai Ports World from managing six U.S. ports. A vote by the full House could come next week on the legislation, which was attached to a must-do bill providing more emergency funds for the war in Iraq and for rebuilding Southern states hit by hurricanes last year. Earlier on Wednesday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters in New Orleans, where Bush was again assessing Hurricane Katrina rebuilding efforts, "the president's position has not changed" on the fight over the Dubai company's role in managing U.S. ports. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the administration was "actively soliciting the views of members of Congress, as well as state and local officials" as part of a 45-day review of the deal. Bush enjoys the support of at least one key Republican, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee and will shepherd the emergency spending bill through the Senate. "I support him (Bush) in upholding the contract with Dubai Ports World," Cochran said, adding he was convinced the company's "management techniques will improve the efficiency of the ports and will not jeopardize national security." The House committee's vote on Wednesday was a reaction reacting to what members said was broad opposition to the deal by constituents. House Majority Leader John Boehner on Tuesday called it a "very hot political potato." On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, offered a measure as an amendment to a sweeping Senate lobby-reform bill to block the ports deal. It was unclear if Schumer's proposal would even come for a vote in the Republican-led Senate where Majority Leader Bill Frist has said he would oppose consideration of any such measure until the 45-day review is done. Since word of the deal broke last month, lawmakers have complained about security risks if ports management was turned over to firms from countries that in the past were sympathetic to terrorist activities. Continued ... Â© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.