Deficit package gets extra vote: President struggles to save his deficit-reduction package
Thursday 05 August 1993
Officials at the White House breathed a huge sigh of relief as a dissenting Democratic senator announced that he would vote in favour of the bill - supplying Mr Clinton with a crucial extra vote in the US Senate.
The decision, by the Arizona Senator, Dennis DeConcini, came after a tense day in which the President paid a last-minute visit to Capitol Hill in an effort to rally support for his amended plan. Few dispute that Mr Clinton has put his credibility on the line by repeatedly making clear that he regards the legislation as a central part of his agenda. Failure to get it through Congress would be a severe blow.
Mr DeConcini's vote is important because he was one of six senators who opposed an earlier draft of the bill in June, which the Senate only passed by a 49-50 majority after Vice-President Al Gore cast a tie-breaking vote. The six dissenters were subsequently joined by David Boren of Oklahoma, leaving the administration with the difficult job of winning over at least one of their ranks. Mr DeConcini may now supply the vote Mr Clinton needs - although a risk remains that senators who previously supported the plan may change their minds.
The main components of the package, which Mr Clinton has characterised as the first step in a historic attempt to reform government, are dollars 254bn ( pounds 170bn) in spending cuts combined with around dollars 242bn in new tax revenues. Most of the cuts will come from defence and by limiting the growth of Medicare, the government-funded health programme for the elderly.
The stakes rose still higher on Tuesday night when Mr Clinton made an impassioned, and rare, television address to the nation, brandishing bar charts showing that the great brunt of his proposed tax increases would be borne by the rich - and not the middle class. He claimed the only tax hike to affect most Americans was a 4.3 per cent per gallon increase on petrol.
Initial surveys suggest that the electorate was far from convinced. A USA Today/CNN Gallup poll taken after the speech found that only 33 per cent wanted the bill to pass. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed had no opinion at all, a sign that Mr Clinton's efforts to slay the deficit dragon has yet to remove public cynicism about gridlocked government.
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...