President George W. Bush, who has threatened to veto legislation blocking the Dubai ports deal, has not changed his position, the White House said on March 9.

The comment came a day after a US House of Representatives committee voted overwhelmingly to block an Arab-owned company from managing six US ports.

“The president’s position remains the same,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

He said the White House supported reforming the process that approves such deals and was continuing to work with Congress, where Republicans have criticized the Dubai Ports World deal.

“We support improving and reforming the CFIUS process and so we’re engaging congressional leaders on that important issue and we’re looking at ideas,” McClellan said.

A vote by the full House could come this week on the legislation, which was attached to a bill providing more emergency funds for the war in Iraq and for rebuilding states hit by hurricanes last year.

“We’d be concerned about attempts to address the ports transaction in any emergency legislation because it could slow down passage of vital funds and resources for the efforts I just mentioned,” McClellan said. (Reuters)