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Lawmakers won't force quick showdown over ports deal

Published Mar. 1, 2006

Congressional Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday tempered calls for an immediate vote to block a Dubai-based company's takeover of some U.S. port operations as President Bush prodded them to avoid a confrontation.

Returning to the Capitol in force for the first time since news of Dubai Ports World's takeover broke, lawmakers from both parties criticized the White House for failing to let them know about the deal before it became public.

But many also said steps taken over the weekend by the White House and the United Arab Emirates company for a 45-day investigation of the transaction's security issues reassured them and negated the need for legislation for now.

Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., brokered a deal between the company and the Bush administration to agree to a new investigation of security issues related to DP World's plan to assume significant operations at six U.S. ports.

"I'm very pleased where we are today," Frist said.