Stories on the '98 Budget Debate
The following are links to major stories on the debate over the budget for Fiscal Year 1999, approved in October 1998. Also see Key Stories on the '98 Highway Bill.
Economy, Spending Could Soak Up Surplus
October 29, 1998
After 29 dark years of seemingly intractable deficits, some experts worry that the surplus may not last long.
Director to Depart CBO Early
October 29, 1998
The director of the Congressional Budget Office, which has drawn withering criticism from House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and other Republican leaders for its economic and budget surplus forecasts, is stepping down early next year to return to academia.
House Passes Spending Bill
October 21, 1998
The House approved a massive year-end
spending measure, funding scores of
federal agencies and averting a government
Fine Print of Budget Package Gets 11th-Hour Changes
October 20, 1998
White House and congressional negotiators
put what they hoped were the
finishing touches on a massive year-end
Congress Postpones Spending Bill Vote
October 17, 1998
Congress delayed a vote on a massive spending package after leaders acknowledged they were still cutting deals and settling differences.
Clinton, Congress Reach Budget Deal
October 16, 1998
Full Post coverage, including highlights and analysis, of the $500 billion budget deal.
Concessions Bring Budget Talks Near a Deal
October 15, 1998
A huge, year-end budget deal is close after the White House blinked on a major education funding demand but won broad victories on spending and policy.
Education Fight Stymies Budget Talks
October 14, 1998
Budget negotiators met without reaching agreement on President Clinton's education initiatives and other issues that sharply divide the White House and the Republican Congress.
Lawmakers Slip In Special-Interest Items
October 13, 1998
Behind the scenes, members of Congress and lobbyists are maneuvering to add about 100 extra special-interest provisions to the omnibus spending bill.
As Kasich Chases 2000, Budget Talks Stumble
October 12, 1998
Traversing the country in pursuit of a spot on the GOP presidential ticket, Rep. John Kasich has receded into the background in the Capitol.
GOP Scrambles as Clinton Vetoes $60B Agriculture Bill
October 9, 1998
In a display of the clout he still retains in budget struggles, President Clinton vetoed a $60 billion agricultural spending bill and forced Republicans to scramble to add money they had initially refused to give him.
GOP Drops Controversial Provisions From Spending Bill
October 8, 1998
In another sign of Congress's eagerness to finish its work and avert a government shutdown, House Republicans won approval of a $13.4 billion spending bill after they stripped away four controversial provisions that had blocked its passage.
Funding Bill Is Stalled, Revealing Split in GOP
October 2, 1998
The House turned back a $13.4 billion spending bill, revealing deep splits inside the Republican majority.
GOP Tax Cut May Die in Senate
October 1, 1998
The $80 billion House-passed tax cut bill is running into huge obstacles in the Senate, according to Republican and Democratic leaders.
A Happy New Fiscal Year for Clinton
October 1, 1998
President Clinton celebrated the official end of three decades of budget deficits.
Decades-Old Era of Budget Deficits Ends
September 30, 1998
This fiscal year is the first since 1969 that the nation has recorded a federal budget surplus.
Billions Added to 12 Unsigned Spending Bills
September 28, 1998
With less than two weeks left before funding runs out for most of the federal government, Congress and the administration remain far apart on overall spending levels.
House Approves $80 Billion Tax Cut
September 26, 1998
A Republican plan calculated to appeal to millions of middle-class Americans passed the House.
House Republicans Detail Tax Cut Plan
September 13, 1998
House Republicans presented details of their plan for $80 billion of tax cuts over the coming five years.
GOP Senators Back House Colleagues' Plan
September 11, 1998
Senate Republican leaders generally agreed to a House GOP proposal to dip into the budget surplus to finance a $70 billion to $80 billion tax cut.
$4 Billion in Pork Added to Defense Bill
August 15, 1998
The annual defense appropriations bill contains an estimated $4 billion in projects the military never asked for programs added on by members of Congress seeking to steer military spending to their home districts.
House GOP Leaders Pare Tax Cut Goal
August 7, 1998
House GOP leaders signaled they might settle for a modest tax cut measure providing relief to married couples and economically distressed farmers.
CBO Delivers Rosy Revised Surplus Estimates
July 16, 1998
The Congressional Budget Office issued revised figures showing a $63 billion budget surplus this year and combined surpluses of $520 billion over the next five years.
Kudlow, the Mind Behind a Tax Cut Push
July 14, 1998
After a strange journey that took him from the Reagan White House to Wall Street to a drug rehab clinic, Lawrence A. Kudlow, 50, is back precisely where he likes to be: at the center of a brewing controversy over economic policy.
GOP Targets Spending Bills as Battleground
June 28, 1998
Congressional Republicans staked out their ground for the final months of ideological combat before Election Day, picking the 13 spending bills that fund government operations for fights over social policy, business regulation, education and the environment.
House Bill Cuts White House Priorities
June 24, 1998
House Republican leaders appear to be inviting an appropriations showdown with the White House by showering funds on medical and scientific research favored by House Speaker Newt Gingrich while squeezing other programs favored by the Democrats.
Hill Forecasters Dampen GOP Hopes for Tax Cut
June 23, 1998
New economic forecasts will fall far short of the "July surprise" that House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and other GOP leaders were counting on to help underwrite an election-year tax relief package.
Lawmakers Confront Spending Trade-Offs
June 17, 1998
Despite skyrocketing surplus forecasts, budget appropriators are starting to confront the reality of a virtual spending freeze for most domestic and defense programs.
Hungry for Tax Cut, House Leaders Are Pressuring CBO
June 12, 1998
Anxious to bolster their case for tax cuts, Speaker Newt Gingrich and other top Republicans are pressuring congressional budget analysts to produce rosier surplus projections.
Resistant House Passes Tax-Cutting Budget
June 6, 1998
House Republican leaders passed a controversial 1999 budget plan that calls for $101 billion of tax relief for married couples over the next five years and a corresponding cut in domestic spending.
Higher Surplus Data Renew Budget Spat
May 27, 1998
President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders sparred anew over whether to return projected budget windfalls to taxpayers or bank the money for fixing Social Security.
Kasich Backs Off Demand for Further Budget Cuts
May 15, 1998
Battered for his attempt to revive some of the most controversial GOP budget policies, House Budget Committee Chairman John R. Kasich (R-Ohio) scrapped a 47-page list of proposed spending cuts and agency demolitions.
Gingrich Wants to Tap Surpluses for Tax Cuts
May 9, 1998
Reacting to dazzling new forecasts of an ever-growing federal budget surplus, House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has proposed using the windfall for tax relief, beginning with a tax cut of $70 billion next year.
Kasich Pursues Deeper Cuts
May 3, 1998
House Budget Committee Chairman John R. Kasich (R-Ohio) is pushing a slash-and-burn budget that would move Congress and his party far beyond last year's compromise and into risky political turf.
Raines Departs OMB to Chair Fannie Mae
April 15, 1998
Franklin D. Raines, whose low-key pragmatism helped President Clinton close the 1997 budget deal with Congress, announced he will step down as White House budget director. Clinton plans to nominate Deputy Director Jacob J. Lew as Raines's successor.
Budget Surplus Estimate Expands
April 10, 1998
The surging U.S. economy is likely to push the federal budget surplus to at least $50 billion for this fiscal year, according to an internal Federal Reserve projection and other estimates.
Clinton Criticizes Senate GOP Budget Plan
April 4, 1998
President Clinton told Senate Republicans that their budget for Fiscal Year 1999 is too heavy on highways and too light on education spending.
Senate Passes First Balanced Budget in 30 Years
April 3, 1998
To pass the budget resolution, Republican leaders struck a last-minute agreement with conservatives to ensure substantial tax cuts in 1999.
Clinton, Congress Finding Ways to Juggle Spending Limits
March 22, 1998
Congress's decision to go on an election year highway spending spree underscores the limits of last year's balanced budget agreement in dictating long-term spending and tax policy.
Clinton Hits Senate GOP Budget Plan
March 19, 1998
President Clinton bashed a Senate Republican budget plan that would jettison most of his domestic spending initiatives.
Budget Clash Over Tobacco Emerges in Senate
March 18, 1998
A dispute over the proposed tobacco industry settlement threatened to divide the Senate Budget Committee as it began work on a Republicans tax and spending plan.
What to do With a Budget Surplus?
March 17, 1998
With the federal government suddenly expecting surpluses estimated between $660 billion and $1.1 trillion over the next decade, there is widespread disagreement over how the surplus should be used.
U.S. Posted a $25.4 Billion Budget Surplus in January
February 24, 1998
The federal government recorded a $25.4 billion budget surplus in January, enough to put the budget in the black for the last 12 months by nearly $10 billion.
Governors Support Clinton on Surpluses
February 22, 1998
With their own budgets showing healthy surpluses, the nation's governors are preaching the gospel of fiscal prudence but they still want more of their highway money back.
Clinton Urges Fiscal Discipline, Decries GOP Plan for Surplus
February 11, 1998
President Clinton stressed the need for continued fiscal discipline even though the economy is growing and the budget deficit is disappearing, and he criticized a GOP proposal for loosening budget rules.
Clinton's Social Security Pledge Holds Off Surplus Spenders
February 9, 1998
President Clinton's State of the Union appeal to "reserve every penny" of future surpluses until he and Congress reach an agreement on Social Security reform has put spenders and tax cutters on the defensive at least for now.
Gingrich Supports Using Surpluses to Prop Up Social Security
February 6, 1998
House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) endorsed President Clinton's call for using future budget surpluses to help shore up Social Security.
Clinton Pledge Puzzles Lawmakers
February 4, 1998
The ringing simplicity of Clinton's call to "save Social Security first" gave way to a fog of bewildering budget-speak from the administration's top economic advisers as members of budget committees in the House and Senate demanded explanations of just what that promise means.
Clinton Releases New Budget
February 3, 1998
The White House submitted the first balanced budget in 30 years, one that would bar substantial new spending and tax cuts until a plan is in place to preserve Social Security. Complete coverage from The Post and LEGI-SLATE News Service.
On Budget Eve, Congress Feels Surplus Fever
February 2, 1998
The sudden promise of huge surpluses for as far as the eye can see is radically altering the way some politicians and economists think about spending money and has raised expectations of bolder government programs in years to come.
After Decades of Deficits, Expectations of Surplus
February 1, 1998
A budget surplus would reverse the trend of three decades in which the federal government added nearly $3.5 trillion in red ink to the national debt. How, exactly, did we get here? The answer is complex.
Social Security Remarks Draw Tentative Praise
January 28, 1998
President Clinton's plan to use future budget surpluses to preserve Social Security would take out of play a potentially huge pot of money that members of both parties want to use to finance new spending or tax cuts.
Clinton Plan for Surplus May Hurt Push for Tax Cut
January 28, 1998
President Clinton's recommendation that projected budget surpluses be used to shore up Social Security seems certain to aggravate tensions between two rival factions in the Republican ranks: those who say future surpluses should go for tax relief, and those who'd prefer to bolster entitlement programs or pay down the mammoth federal debt.
Seeing Budget in Balance, CBO Projects a Decade of Surpluses
January 8, 1998
The Congressional Budget Office issued revised projections showing that for the first time in 30 years the federal budget is effectively in balance and that Congress and the White House can look forward to mounting surpluses in the coming decade.
Clinton to Propose '99 Balanced Budget
January 6, 1998
President Clinton announced that a new surge of money into government coffers will allow him to propose a balanced budget, the first time in nearly three decades.
Considering Other Budget Burdens, 'Surplus' May Be Illusory
January 6, 1998
It may say something about the fickleness of politics or economics that, in just a year's time, Washington
has shifted from arguing about how to eliminate the federal budget deficit to how to spend a budget surplus.
Pressure Grows to Cut Taxes in '98
December 26, 1997
As a strong economy continues to drive down the federal deficit, pressure is building in both parties to recast last
summer's balanced budget deal to make room for additional tax cuts and domestic spending.
Clinton Won't Offer a Tax Plan
December 21, 1997
The White House has decided against offering any major proposals to cut or simplify taxes, gambling that it can successfully counter Republican plans by portraying them as regressive
Federal Tax Revenue Surges
December 20, 1997
Tax revenue continued to pour into federal government coffers in October and November, the first two months
of fiscal 1998, with total receipts up more than 10 percent compared with the same period a year ago.
Gingrich Has Preemptive Plan for Budget
October 24, 1997
House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) outlined a plan to reduce the national debt, provide annual cuts in taxes, boost spending for science and technology and undertake a massive defense buildup.
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