Washington: Rated G Again

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON: C-SPAN returned to child-safe programming this weekend as Washington went back to fighting over acts of congress that don't involve sex. The White House and Republican leaders are tangled up over the budget, but both sides have promised to stick close to the negotiating table until the current fiscal year, which actually began 11 days ago, is paid for. "I just challenge the President to stay in town and get the job done," said Republican majority whip Tom DeLay Sunday. "We'll stay here right up through Election Day." In response, the White House announced that President Clinton, due in New York Monday to pry open some plump Democratic wallets, would delay his departure so that budget talks could continue.

What, no shutdown? Both sides remember 1995 all too well. But the issues are contentious enough. A primer: Republicans and the White House both want to be education-friendly, but are split over the destination of some $6.2 billion. The GOP wants to give it straight to local governments; the White House prefers to funnel it from the top down. The White House wants $18 billion for the IMF; Republicans want to tinker with the fund before refilling its bank account. Abortion is rearing its ugly head: The GOP wants to cut off funding to family planning agencies that even talk about overseas abortions; the White House wants to write the check. The White House wants statistical sampling for the 2000 census; Republicans say itís unconstitutional. "It seems to me that the areas where we can reach agreement are obvious, and the solutions are obvious," said Trent Lott Sunday, estimating that members of Congress could be on the campaign trail by Tuesday. "But it's been very slow in trying to get the administration to really meet with us and wrap it up." Ah, a good old-fashioned Beltway dustup. You could almost hear the ratings dropping.