WASHINGTON (AP) _ With television cameras turned off and the public galleries emptied, senators returned today to their debate over whether to remove President Clinton from office amid signs that GOP support may be waning both for the perjury article and the idea of a post-trial censure.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said that ``if at all possible'' he would like to set a vote for 5 p.m. EST Thursday on whether to convict Clinton on the perjury and obstruction of justice charges _ votes that by all signs will fall far short of the two-thirds majority needed to oust the nation's 42nd president.

``If we still have speeches and we can't do it then we will certainly go over to Friday but I think we need to begin to talk about that goal,'' Lott said at the opening of today's trial. The Senate sergeant at arms then closed the doors so the debate could begin for a second day.

Both inside and outside the chamber, GOP senators raised doubts about their support for a censure or rebuke of the president if he is acquitted on the two articles of impeachment.

``There's been very little mention of censure,'' Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said before today's proceedings. ``To me, the push for censure is losing steam.