The Week Ahead: Clinton at the cutting edge

THE US Congress goes into recess on Friday, but not before a tricky piece of business has been tied up: agreement on a package of tax increases and spending cuts. The House of Representatives and the Senate have each narrowly passed different bills, so a reconciliation conference of members from both houses has been trimming and tucking the various proposals into a single bill.

Today is the crunch day, when President Bill Clinton reveals the final version. Tomorrow evening he makes a televised speech from the Oval Office to mobilise public opinion before a vote later in the week.

The outcome remains a cliff- hanger, since Republicans are voting against it en masse without a single defection. The Democratic majority for previous versions has been razor-thin - the Senate version was approved only on the casting vote of Vice- President Al Gore.

So keen is Mr Clinton to get the whole business over and done with, that he appealed to the public at the weekend to put pressure on Congress. Mr Clinton summed up the feeling of exasperation: 'Now is the time to act. We've talked and dawdled long enough . . . I need you help and I hope you'll tell your senators and representatives the time has come to more forward.'

Many of Mr Clinton's more ambitious proposals have been watered down, but the 4.3 cents per gallon petrol tax, tax increases for the wealthy and cuts in health care and benefits are expected to remain. The compromise package may fall short of the dollars 500bn deficit-cutting target that was originally intended.

At least when the budget is approved, US congressmen can pack up and go home, which is more than can be said for members of the Russian parliament.

MPs in Moscow resume on Friday a special session of parliament which they called last week then adjourned, to debate matters striking at the heart of President Boris Yeltsin's authority, especially the botched and unpopular rouble reform. By postponing their challenge to Mr Yeltsin until this week, they have effectively kissed goodbye to their summer recess.

Parliamentary committees are to beaver away throughout the week, assembling their ammunition against the President.

They will present a law aimed at forcing Mr Yeltsin to submit to parliament nominations and dismissals of ministers of the interior, defence, foreign affairs and security. But if MPs plan to clip Mr Yeltsin's wings, his proposed constitution would clip theirs - and the row will surely rage on through the summer.

One chapter of violence in Los Angeles closes on Wednesday, when two white policemen, Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell, are sentenced over the beating of the black motorist Rodney King two and a half years ago. In April 1992 a California jury aquitted the two men and two other officers of criminal assault, igniting the Los Angeles riots. This April a federal court convicted Koon and Powell of violating Mr King's civil rights; their sentences could range from probation to 10 years' jail.

Abbas Hamadi, a Lebanese terrorist, is to be released from his German prison and deported to Lebanon on Sunday. He was sentenced in April 1988 to 13 years in jail for abducting two German businessmen in Beirut to secure the release of his brother, Mohammad Hamadi, who is serving a life sentence for the 1985 TWA hijacking.

Suggested Topics
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Harry Redknapp. Mark Hughes and Ryan Shawcross
footballNews and updates as Queens Park Rangers host the Potters
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
New Articles
i100... with this review
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam