Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Shutdown Begins 17th Day; Budget Impasse Persists Congress, White House Expected to Resume Talks after Holidays

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Shutdown Begins 17th Day; Budget Impasse Persists Congress, White House Expected to Resume Talks after Holidays

Article excerpt

The partial government shutdown entered its 17th day today, with no end in sight as negotiations to balance the federal budget failed again.

As expected, Senate Democrats on Sunday blocked a Republican move to put furloughed federal employees back to work. Negotiations involving congressional leaders and the White House were expected to resume Tuesday.

The Republican plan would have sent employees back to work with a guarantee they would be paid later. It also would have limited Senate debate on a balanced budget agreement to 12 hours.

Democrats said the debate limit amounted to a muzzle. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., also pointed out that the Republican proposal would not have allowed federal workers to incur new expenses.

"The effect of this . . . is that federal workers will be asked to show up in their offices and not be given the authority to do virtually anything," Daschle said.

His lone objection blocked the GOP offer because it could be approved only by unanimous consent.

The brief Senate session followed a two-hour meeting at the White House between President Bill Clinton and congressional leaders of both parties to work out a seven-year, balanced budget deal.

During the talks, they offered no compromises, reached no agreements, set their next talks for Tuesday evening and then left town.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., said the negotiations had made some progress but were "a long way from any solution yet."

White House spokesman Mike McCurry said that when the negotiators resume they will be ready to discuss tradeoffs on Medicare, taxes, welfare and other issues.

"The president is ready to discuss the issues in good faith," McCurry said, adding that most of Sunday's meeting was devoted to options for slowing down the increase in Medicare spending.

Later Sunday, at a campaign event in Concord, N. …

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