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Florida House Speaker hedges on special session to call electors

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- The leader of Florida's House of Representatives reaffirmed his belief Friday that the state's Republican-controlled legislature has the power to name the state's presidential electors, but held off calling a special session to do so.

"As soon as the Florida House and Florida Senate work out the language and schedule, I am prepared to sign a proclamation for a special session to preserve the election results," said House Speaker Tom Feeney.

He and Senate President John McKay had indicated they might sign such a proclamation as early as Friday. A joint House-Senate committee voted along party lines Thursday to recommend a special session.

The official call is now expected to happen by Monday, with the session getting under way -- if still necessary -- on Tuesday, sources said.

Sweeney issued a statement Friday saying he was pleased with the day's proceedings in the U.S. Supreme Court, which, he said, appeared to reinforce the legislature's role in appointing the 25 electors.

Democrats have said such a move would be a power grab by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to give the state and the election to his brother, George W. Bush.

"People upset with the role of the Legislature in selecting electors, do not have a bone to pick with the Florida Legislature," he said.


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Friday, December 1, 2000

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