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In the fall of 2007, Senate hearings finally commenced on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, a treaty that has been languishing in the Senate since 1994, when Bill Clinton was still a fresh face in the White House Submitted to the Senate under the Treaty Clause of the Constitution, the treaty must gain the consent of two-thirds of the Senate in order to become law for the United States- a hurdle it has been unable to clear for over a decade because of a small but determined opposition. Meanwhile, free trade agreements between the United States and Peru, Colombia, and Panama are also up for approval. But these agreements are proceeding not through the Treaty Clause but as "congressional-executive agreements," subject to approval by a majority of both houses of Congress. Signed in 2006, one has already been approved by Congress and at least one more is likely to be approved later this year.

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