Magazine article Techniques

Budget Negotiation Delays

Magazine article Techniques

Budget Negotiation Delays

Article excerpt

As a new fiscal year began on October 1, fewer than half of all government agencies had received permanent funding. The White House and the Republican-majority Congress had reached some tentative agreements, but could not work out final differences before the election. They were forced to pass an interim resolution to keep the federal government running until November 13. When the outcome of the presidential election had still not been decided by that date, another stopgap measure had to be passed to keep the government funded until December 5.

There have been six previous lame-duck sessions in the past 30 years, and they have often been contentious and unpredictable, but none have had to also contend with the uncertainty of a contested presidential election. Among the critical legislation that had to be delayed were large increases in education funding and a one-dollar-an-hour minimum wage increase. The increased tensions threatened the hard-won consensus that had been reached between the Clinton-Gore administration and the Republican members of the education and appropriations committees--a consensus which had resulted in several measures that would benefit children through a 21 percent increase in federal education programs. …

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