Budget: Going the Last Mile

Bill Clinton's final sales campaign began last Thursday with an anxious burst of phone calls. Yet just five hours before the House would vote on his budget bill, he still lacked a majority. On the phone with Pat Williams, Montana's sole Representative, Clinton found no bargaining leverage. Unlike most of the other legislators with whom Clinton had been cutting deals all week, Williams asked for no specific trade-off in return for his vote. "Pat," Clinton finally pleaded, "I can't pass this without your vote, and my presidency depends on getting this thing through." But Williams refused to commit. A liberal from...

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