CAFTA passes in House

Mary Dalrymple
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Bush insisted that the small trade agreement with six Latin American nations would pay big dividends for security, stability and freedom in the Western Hemisphere. After persistent lobbying by the White House, Congress finally agreed. It took personal visits from the president and vice president, along with strenuous arm-twisting from Republican leaders, before the House passed the Central American Free Trade Agreement early today by a two-vote margin, 217-215. The Senate approved CAFTA last month 54-45, and it now goes to the president for his signature.