Jackson-Vanik moves ahead

The Senate's Friday vote to lift the 31-year-old Jackson-Vanik amendment was a huge political victory for Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, who led his country's democratic uprising in last year's Orange Revolution.

The House has yet to take action on Jackson-Vanik, which prevented trade normalization with the United States. A spokesman for the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over the measure, had no information about Chairman Bill Thomas' (R-Calif.) plans.

The Senate's move comes in the wake of a letter from Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyDrug pricing debate going into hibernation GOP leaders host Trump's top deputies Key Republican wants details on Ohio State attacker MORE (R-Iowa), according to a statement issued by the committee. Rice's letter immediately followed an article in The Hill on a disagreement over Jackson-Vanik between Rice and Thomas.