Budget Negotiations Remain Stalled

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON: President Clinton and Congressional leaders met for an hour today to discuss ways to balance the federal budget, but both sides walked away from the meeting dissatisfied with their progress. Officials at the White House are saying that there is a brief "window of opportunity" for progress before the fall campaign. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he believed the window extended up to the parties' conventions in August. At the meeting, each side laid out their budgetary priorities. Clinton and the Republicans disagree over the size of proposed tax and spending cuts. This meeting comes one day after Clinton unveiled his 1997 budget proposal, which provides tax cuts for families, billions in savings from Medicare, welfare and other benefit programs, and increased spending on the environment, education and advanced technology. The Republicans seek deeper tax cuts and greater reductions to Medicaid and Medicare. But before the two sides can turn to the 1997 budget, they need to resolve this year's budget war. On Tuesday, the Senate passed a $166 billion bill to fund dozens of government agencies through September. The House has already passed a smaller version. The two chambers probably won't be able to work out a compromise that will be acceptable to the White House until next week. Meanwhile, with a government shutdown looming on Friday, Congress is expected to send Clinton a bill to keep the government running through March 28.