Againt the deal from the right, Sen. Gramm (128K wav)

Againt the deal from the left, Sen. Wellstone (192K wav)

Rep. Kasich gives power to the people (256K wav)

Rep. Armey says Republicans got what they wanted (288K wav)

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A Look At The Spending Side (7/30/97)

Congress To Vote On Budget, Tax Bills (7/30/97)

Weighing In On The Budget Deal (7/30/97)

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Explaining The Budget (7/29/97)

How The Deal Affects You: A look at the agreement's tax breaks for families, capital gains and education. (7/29/97)

GOP, White House Say Budget A Done Deal (7/28/97)

Take A Stand! Will the deal work? | The Tally


Budget Bills Heading To Clinton

Will the line-item veto get its maiden voyage?

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Aug. 1) -- Now that the budget has flown through Congress, President Bill Clinton will take the weekend to pore through it and decide if he wants to take his new line-item veto out for a spin.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are looking beyond the bills passed this week and promising further tax cuts and broader reform next year.

White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry says 75 provisions in the budget legislation could be subject to the line-item veto, and the White House will be looking very carefully at those over the weekend, particularly one tobacco rider. But he says he's "not suggesting at all the president intends to exercise the line item veto" and is "not ruling anything in or out."

A team of administration officials, primarily from Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget, is reviewing the budget bill to see whether there are any provisions objectionable to the administration that are covered by the line-item veto law.

It would be Clinton's first use of the power Congress gave him in 1996 to strike individual spending or tax-relief items in budgets. The Supreme Court threw out a challenge to the veto law this year on grounds the members of Congress who filed it did not have legal standing to do so. But the court did not rule on the constitutionality of the law itself. Clinton is almost sure to draw a legal challenge if he attempts to strike any single provisions.


Clinton opposes a budget provision that would allow tobacco companies to use revenues raised through a new cigarette tax as a credit against the cost of their proposed settlement with anti-smoking activists and state attorneys general.

White House spokesman Barry Toiv said the provision was "discussed in negotiations but not agreed to by our negotiators." Toiv said the administration did not consider the provision "particularly meaningful" and that the White House was "not likely to support any final agreement" that included that provision.

Still, it's clear Clinton likes the bulk of the bill, and he is expected to sign it early next week. "This budget will help millions of families to raise their children, educate them, and provide health care for them," he said at a White House event this morning to tout new good unemployment figures. "It is an investment in the hopes and dreams of the American middle class, and I look forward to signing it."

"This year, we had a choice -- whether to come to gridlock and undercut confidence in our economy or continue our successful strategy into the 21st century," Clinton said. "I am pleased that very large bipartisan majorities in both chambers, including over 75 percent of the Democrats on all the votes, have voted to continue our economic approach and keep our prosperity going."(288K wav sound)

Congressional Republican leaders hosted a ceremony in the Capitol's Statuary Hall early this afternoon to formally enroll the bills and to send them off to the White House.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich used the occasion to draw some larger lessons. "We believe that life is more than just economics," he said. "We believe we can truly create by the time we enter the 21st century on January 1, 2001, a drug-free America with every child learning at their best rate, and with children either born or adopted into families that can truly nurture them and love them. Look at this as a promise that you ain't seen nothing yet: Even more is coming."

Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth (R-Del.) and other conservatives say now that the ball is rolling on tax changes, they'll try to steer it toward full tax reform and further tax cuts in the fall. "This is indeed only a beginning. Taxes on American working people are too high," Roth said.

And too complicated, he said, though there was little he could do about that this year. "In dealing with the law as it now is, it's impossible to do anything major without making it more complex," he said, and promised a round of tax reform hearings for September.

House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) remains a self-described "skunk in the Rose Garden" on the budget deal. "I'm a Democrat. I believe in building this economy from the bottom up, not the top down," he said. Gephardt voted against the spending and the tax cut bills.

With the votes out of the way, Congress has left town for its August break. The Senate is scheduled to get back to business on Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day, and the House on Sept. 3.

Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) is mulling whether to continue his committee's campaign-finance hearings into Congress' sacred vacation, and is expected to decide soon.

CNN's John King contributed to this report.

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