The U.S. Senate voted on November 19th to pass a bill concerning the creation of a Cabinet-level homeland security agency. The legislation was a top priority for President Bush.
However, Senate Democrats protested several provisions placed in the bill by Republican members of the House of Representatives, which was approved last week by the House. These additional provisions protect drug companies from lawsuits over vaccinations' side effects.
Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota said, “If this is a homeland security bill, let us keep it homeland security-related.” Repulican Senator Phil Gramm of Texas argued that liability protection is needed to ensure that drug companies will produce the vaccines that America needs to fight the war on terrorism.