Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Confrontation Marks Budget Battle's Status

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Confrontation Marks Budget Battle's Status

Article excerpt

Congress moved toward a confrontation with President Clinton which threatens to shut down the federal government early this week. The latest skirmish occurred as House and Senate GOP negotiators neared agreement on a massive tax and deficit reduction bill.

As The Weekly went to press, Congress was working to pass and send legislation to the President to keep the federal government operating through December 1st and to provide for a temporary increase in the national debt to allow the federal government to operate through December 13th. But the measures are almost certain to be vetoed, leading to a partial shutdown of the government this week and interference with a number of programs directly and indirectly affecting municipal services and operations.

Meanwhile, House and Senate GOP leaders reached overall agreement on steep reductions in spending for a number of federal programs key to balancing the federal budget as some nineteen House and Senate subconference groups were nearing agreement. The House hopes to vote on a deficit reduction conference agreement as early as Wednesday, the Senate on Thursday.

Funding

Congress passed a second continuing resolution late Thursday to keep the federal government in operation until December 1. The House and Senate hoped to work out their differences over the weekend and get the bill to the White House as early as today, where it faces a likely veto.

The House version of the continuing resolution, which is a bill to provide temporary funding or appropriations for federal discretionary funds until Congress can act on annual funding, included provisions, or riders, to limit lobbying by non-profit organizations, to increase Medicare premiums, to cut some programs by as much as 40 percent, and to eliminate others.

The White House made clear that if the Senate accepted the riders and cuts in the President's priority programs, he would veto the bill, sending the federal government into a partial shutdown tomorrow. …

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