Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Clinton Sends Proposals to Congress

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Clinton Sends Proposals to Congress

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton sent to Congress, and to an apparently bleak fate, his bills to increase the minimum wage and lower middle-class taxes.

He also used an Oval Office ceremony on Monday to announce plans for a new domestic economic conference and to assail Republicans for "digging the country into a hole" and then criticizing his budget.

"It is time for them to take a little responsibility. They were here during the years of the '80s when we created this deficit problem," Clinton said. "Where is their budget? What are they for?"

Clinton also sent his annual economic report to Congress, a 407-page volume that mostly boasts of his achievements. "America's economic prospects have improved considerably in the last two years. And the economy will continue to move forward in 1996," he wrote in an introduction.

At an Oval Office ceremony to showcase the report and to send the two economic bills on their way, Clinton said he'll stage another economic "summit" like the one he held in Little Rock in late 1992.

Aides said it would be held in late March somewhere outside of Washington.

"I think it would be a good thing to get those people back together that gathered two years ago, not only to review the progress that has been made, but more importantly to look at the thorny problems that remain," Clinton said.

The December 1992 conference was attended by academics, government officials and business and labor leaders.

Clinton said his minimum wage bill and his middle-class tax proposals would reward work and raise living standards.

His legislation to raise the minimum wage over two years by 90 cents an hour, to $5.15, appeared to stand little chance of approval given near solid GOP opposition.

Clinton said the proposal would benefit 11 million workers and their families and would be equivalent to an $1,800 raise, or seven months of groceries. …

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