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Senate Adopts Civil Rights Bill

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To the delight of a number of American Jewish groups, the Senate last week adopted the Civil Rights Act of 1990, which makes it easier for victims of employment discrimination to win legal relief.

The 65-24 vote came July 18, hours after negotiations collapsed between the White House and key senators over language in the bill that President Bush argues could lead to quotas in hiring and promotion decisions.

But the White House said it still hopes a compromise can be reached with the House of Representatives that would allow Bush to support the bill. The president has indicated he will veto the bill if it remains in the form adopted by the Senate.

A House vote on the bill is expected before Congress begins its Labor Day recess in early August.

The bill, which was introduced in response to several recent Supreme Court rulings that have cut back the use of affirmative action, also allows victims of discrimination based on race, religion or sex to sue for damages.

A number of Jewish groups support the bill, including the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, National Council of Jewish Women and Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

Agudath Israel of America, however, opposes certain provisions of the bill for similar reasons as those cited by Bush.

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