End of Budget Crisis Near?

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: White House and Republican Congressional officials announced that they are nearing a breakthrough solution to the long-running budget crisis that would provide funding for federal programs through the end of the 1996 fiscal year. The final obstacles fell as the Senate proposed a $1.3 billion dollar contingency fund for federal programs particularly important to the White House. Chief of Staff Leon Panetta said on CNN Sunday that the Administration would accept such a proprosal. The Senate and House will meet in conference this week to work out the details on how to provide more than $160 billion to fund the nine Cabinet Departments and numerous other federal agencies. The long-awaited compromise would bring to an end an ongoing crisis that has triggered two partial government shutdowns and has required 11 stopgap spending measures since last fall.