Clinton Hails Budget Amendment's Probable Death
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 27) -- President Bill Clinton says it's "a good thing" that the balanced budget constitutional amendment pushed by the Republican leadership appears to be dead for this Congress. "But," Clinton added, "it must also be clear to the American people that we must make sure that a balanced budget does pass, passes this year and passes as soon as we can reasonably pass it." The measure apparently died Wednesday when Sen. Bob Torricelli (D-N.J.) announced he would not provide the critical 67th vote. "We have to now go beyond the constitutional debate to get to the specifics," said Clinton, who spoke to a business group today. "I am convinced that if we pass a balanced budget plan this year it will moderate interest rates, spur more investment and keep growth going," he said. "My appeal to you is to tell every one of us every time you get a chance to say it -- that you cannot celebrate Thanksgiving this year without a balanced budget."
Hillary Celebrates Grammy With Chile Dinner
NEW YORK (AllPolitics, Feb. 27) -- First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton conquered her opponents to win a Grammy Wednesday in New York, then virtually conquered time and space, as she hopped a plane back to Washington for a dinner to honor Eduardo Frei, the president of Chile. "That's the country of Chile," Clinton joked. "We're not serving chili." Clinton's reading of her best-selling book, "It Takes a Village," nabbed the best spoken word or non-musical album trophy, prevailing over such vocal lightweights as Alfre Woodard, Ed Asner, Lauren Bacall, Martin Landau, Jack Lemmon and Gregory Peck. "I didn't even know that people who couldn't sing a note and were tone deaf were eligible for any Grammys," said the first lady. "So it's a great, amazing honor for me."
Dornan Election Inquiry To Head West
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 27) -- A House panel will head to California to gather facts on former GOP Rep. Bob Dornan's challenge to the November election, which he lost to Democrat Loretta Sanchez. The election task force of the House Oversight Committee voted 2-1 Wednesday to proceed with its inquiry and hold field hearings in late April or early May. Dornan claims that Sanchez's supporters illegally registered hundreds of noncitizens during the election. Sanchez, who beat Dornan by 979 votes, had originally asked that the panel dismiss the probe immediately, but is now asking that it do so after field hearings.
Chafee, Lugar Leaning Toward Supporting Lake
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 27) -- Barring last-minute revelations, two Senate Intelligence Committee Republicans, John Chafee (R.I.) and Dick Lugar (Ind.), say they're prepared to support Anthony Lake as director of the CIA. "My impression is that Tony Lake will be confirmed. I plan to support him," Lugar told The Associated Press. Chafee concurred. "You always want to leave yourself a little wiggle room," he said, but added, "I have a heavy tilt in his favor." The White House expects Senate Intelligence's nine Democrats to support Lake; the addition of Chafee and Lugar would tip the balance on the 19-member committee.
Police Probing Cohen Brother Shooting
BREWER, Maine (AllPolitics, Feb. 27) -- Authorities here are trying to determine whether the brother of Defense Secretary William Cohen acted in self-defense when he shot and seriously wounded an intruder at his home Tuesday night. Robert Cohen shot Michael Chasse in the neck and says Chasse was armed with a knife. Christopher Almy, the prosecutor for Penobscot and Piscataquis counties, says "there's some indication" Cohen and Chasse knew each other, but he wouldn't be any more specific.
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