Clinton agrees spending cuts: Republicans force President to slash dollars 4bn off economic package
Saturday 17 April 1993
In a letter to the Senate Democrat leader, George Mitchell, Mr Clinton declared he was making the move 'reluctantly'. But, declared the President, it was the only way to 'move the country forward' and fulfil his election mandate of 'ending business as usual in Washington'.
In purely economic terms, the scaled down dollars 12bn package retains the most important components of its predecessor, including dollars 4bn of extended unemployment benefits, a summer jobs programme and increased funding for highways and other infrastructure projects, all aimed at generating more than 200,000 new jobs.
Far more serious are the political implications of the setback. In mounting a successful filibuster, the Republicans have proved that the Democratic majorities in both House and Senate do not guarantee Mr Clinton a free ride in Congress. Worse still, three or four Democratic defections in the Senate have shown the White House cannot even count on 100 per cent loyalty of its own troops.
Nor is it clear whether the deal Mr Clinton is proposing will end the impasse. His spokesman George Stephanopoulos said dollars 12bn was the 'best offer'. But it was immediately dismissed by the Senate Minority leader, Robert Dole. 'It isn't a compromise when the President absolutely refuses to pay for his new spending programme,' he said.
Having now tasted blood, the Republicans may press for more. The next showdown will come on Tuesday, when the Senate again votes on a cloture motion to end the filibuster. And assuming the 43 Republicans hold rank, the Democrats will once more come up short of the 60 votes needed for Congress' equivalent of a guillotine.
Republicans maintain they are merely trying to bring down the deficit by attacking a spending package that many economists say has been made unnecessary by recovery.
Left untouched from the original package is increased federal funding for Aids treatment. The topic was high on the agenda of Mr Clinton's scheduled meeting with leaders of the gay and lesbian communities yesterday afternoon - the first such encounter in the Oval Office.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 3 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 4 Motorists taunt suicidal woman on bridge and tell her to 'get on with it'
- 5 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...