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Senators pressured to reject steel quotas

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A measure to impose quotas on foreign steel shipments came before the Senate Tuesday despite heavy lobbying by opponents in the Clinton administration.

Top administration officials telephoned senators, urging them to reject quotas. On Monday, Commerce Secretary William Daley told reporters there would be grave risks to the U.S. economy if the bill becomes law.Sen. Connie Mack, R-Fla., argued against the bill, saying passage would send a harmful message to the nation's trading partners.

Supporters lobbied intensively as well. Hundreds of steelworkers rallied near the Capitol Tuesday morning for a last-minute push in support of quotas, which the United Steelworkers of America says are necessary to combat low-priced foreign steel.

The Senate was to vote Tuesday on restricting debate on the bill. Both sides expected the vote to be close.