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Updated Apr 4, 2013 - 5:58 pm

House has fierce debate over UN mandates

PHOENIX -- A largely symbolic effort to block Arizona from enforcing a United Nations resolution on sustainability by conservative Republicans in the House set of a fierce floor debate with Democrats.

Republican Rep. Carl Seel says the non-binding treaty known as the Rio Declaration imposes outside mandates on the United States. The non-binding treaty was signed by then President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Democrats fiercely objected when Seel tried to amend a bill blocking Arizona from helping detain citizens involved in terrorism without trial to add the anti-U.N. mandate. They called the Republicans `conspiracy theories.''

After an hour of debate Thursday, the GOP-controlled House passed the amendment and the underlying bill with all but one Republican in support. Seel says it's unlikely to advance because the Senate isn't hearing new bills.

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