White House May Consider Tobacco Lawsuit
By Jonathan Karl/CNN
WASHINGTON (July 14) -- The Clinton Administration may consider a federal lawsuit against the tobacco industry, but a decision on that move would not come until after Congress recesses for the year.
"Our primary goal is still on legislation," said White House spokesman Barry Toiv. "But if the Republicans really succeed in killing comprehensive tobacco legislation, we've got to look at other alternatives," including a federal lawsuit.
But Toiv said a lawsuit is not now under active consideration; it's an idea that may be examined if Congress does not pass a tobacco bill.
Last month, a comprehensive anti-tobacco bill died in the Senate after GOP leaders complained about its tax hikes. But House Speaker Newt Gingrich has talked about moving a more focused bill in the House.