Budget Talks Off

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Republicans called off a new round of budget talks scheduled to begin Wednesday after a 40-minute phone call between President Clinton and GOP leaders. GOP leaders said that they saw no point in meeting with President Clinton until he is ready to propose a budget that comes closer to what they call a bipartisan solution. Both sides say negotiations may resume soon. But Republicans say Clinton's latest budget wouldn't even be supported by a majority of House Democrats. "Having made such a big deal over the seven-year timetable, the GOP now realized that Clinton can be within those confines but miles away from the policy changes prized by Republicans," says TIME's James Carney. "Changing the structure of many programs like Medicare, Medicaid and welfare is a crucial priority for the GOP, but Clinton's budget sidesteps their proposals."