Clinton, Congress agree on basics of budget

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Clinton and congressional leaders ended months of bitter stalemate Monday and agreed to the outlines of a budget agreement, boosting the chance that the lame-duck 106th Congress could adjourn by week’s end.

The compromise included $108.9 billion for many education, labor and health programs, said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. That would be nearly $13 billion more than was spent last year, a victory for Clinton, but roughly $4 billion less than last month’s tentative agreement. GOP leaders had demanded the cut.

"We believe we have an agreement on a framework on health and education spending," White House spokesman Elliot Diringer said after an Oval Office meeting between Clinton and House and Senate leaders that lasted more than one hour.

"I think we have the parameters" of a compromise figure for spending, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said after the third meeting in eight days between Clinton and the leaders.

Details of the package were to be made final after rank-and-file lawmakers agree to the outline. Its completion would herald an end to a divisive Congress that commenced with the Senate’s impeachment trial of Clinton, and was ending with partisan recriminations over the disputed presidential election.

"It is time that we wrap up our business," said Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn. Legislators had initially hoped this Congress would adjourn in October.

Whatever the final figures, the accord was certain to include increases for Clinton priorities including hiring teachers, renovating schools, Pell grants for needy college students and job training. Also poised for a big boost was biomedical research, a favorite of both parties.

As part of the deal, Republicans were dropping an effort to block a Clinton administration rule requiring employers to take steps to reduce workplace injuries, an issue that had pitted the GOP’s business backers against Democrats’ labor supporters.

The agreement also included an across-the-board cut of about $1 billion — less than 0.2 percent — in many defense and domestic programs, an easing of immigration restrictions far less ambitious than what Clinton had sought, and a five-year increase in Medicare reimbursements to health-care providers of at least $30 billion, plus at least $1.7 billion more for rural health and other Medicare coverage.

The deal could also include proposed tax breaks for investors in poor urban and rural communities, pushed for months by Clinton and Hastert. The House approved a $25 billion, 10-year version of those tax cuts this year, though it languished in the Senate as part of a larger measure Clinton opposed.

House and Senate leaders were hoping to push the package through Congress as early as Thursday.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

Bothell
2 injured in Bothell Everett Highway crash

The highway was briefly reduced to one northbound lane while police investigated the three-car crash Saturday afternoon.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”

Pet detective Jim Branson stops to poke through some fur that Raphael the dog found while searching on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Everett, Washington. Branson determined the fur in question was likely from a rabbit, and not a missing cat.(Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lost a pet? Pet detective James Branson and his dogs may be able to help

James Branson, founder of Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue, helps people in the Seattle area find their missing pets for $350.

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers pose in their costumes. (Photo by Bree Eaton)
Faire thee well: Renaissance is coming to Whidbey Island

The volunteer-run fair May 25 and 26 will feature dancers, a juggler, ‘Fakespeare,’ various live music shows and lots of food.

Community Transit leaders, from left, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Patrick, Zero-Emissions Program Manager Jay Heim, PIO Monica Spain, Director of Maintenance Mike Swehla and CEO Ric Ilgenfritz stand in front of Community Transit’s hydrogen-powered bus on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Community Transit Operations Base in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New hydrogen, electric buses get trial run in Snohomish County

As part of a zero-emission pilot program from Community Transit, the hydrogen bus will be the first in the Puget Sound area.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Video: Man charged at trooper, shouting ‘Who’s the boss?’ before shooting

The deadly shooting shut down northbound I-5 near Everett for hours. Neither the trooper nor the deceased had been identified as of Friday.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

The Port of Everett and Everett Marina on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is Port of Everett’s proposed expansion a ‘stealth tax?’ Judge says no

A Snohomish resident lost a battle in court this week protesting what he believes is a misleading measure from the Port of Everett.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.