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Key Stories

The following are links to major stories on the budget from The Washington Post. The most recent stories in each category are listed first. Also see our key stories on Social Security, Medicare and the 1998 Highway Bill.

'99 Budget Debate | '98 Budget Debate | Line-Item Veto
'97 Budget Deal | Balanced Budget Amendment

'99 Budget Debate


Congress Ends Session With Budget, Medicare Deals
Nov. 20, 1999
By 74 to 24, the Senate approved the $385 billion spending package that finances seven Cabinet departments and the District of Columbia government, frees up nearly $1 billion to pay U.S. debts to the United Nations and restores more than $12 billion that was cut from Medicare two years ago. The budget package also grants satellite television companies the right to broadcast local channels, a move that will give cable companies new competition.

Bipartisan Vote In House Clears Spending Plan
Nov. 19, 1999
Striking a rare bipartisan note, the House overwhelmingly approved a massive budget bill that provides more spending for health and education, frees up funds to pay U.S. debts to the United Nations and restores $12 billion worth of cuts in the Medicare program.

White House Accepts Across-the-Board Cuts
Nov. 18, 1999
The White House accepted a small across-the-board spending cut in federal agencies, giving congressional Republicans the one, largely symbolic concession they had insisted be included in a final budget deal. The concession removed the last substantive obstacle to a deal on the budget.

White House, Hill Near Final Deal on Spending
Nov. 17, 1999
The White House and Republican leaders neared agreement on a massive spending bill that would finance the hiring of new teachers and police officers, increase funding for medical research and complete work on the budget for the federal government this year.

Both Sides Frustrated as Budget Wars End
Nov. 15, 1999
What is going on in Capitol Hill is more than just the usual haggling over annual appropriations. It is the latest, and perhaps last, sputtering battle in a five-year war between the GOP majority in Congress and Clinton over federal spending and the role of government in American life.

Abortion Deal Ends Impasse on U.N. Dues
Nov. 15, 1999
White House and GOP congressional negotiators ended their stalemate over the payment of back dues to the United Nations, with the administration signaling it would accept Republican language linking the dues payments to restrictions on abortion advocacy while retaining the power to waive those restrictions.

Hills Closing Pressures Help Special Interests
Nov. 12, 1999
With more than a half-dozen major bills teetering on the brink of final congressional action, lobbyists for a variety of corporate interests are trying to take advantage of the confusion to secure provisions that might have gone nowhere in more leisurely and open proceedings.

Hill, Clinton Reach Deal On Hiring Of Teachers
Nov. 11, 1999
Congressional Republicans and the White House tentatively agreed on a nearly $1.4 billion plan to hire new teachers and reduce class size, clearing away one of the major obstacles to a final compromise on the budget.

White House and GOP Try to Break Deadlock on U.N. Dues
Nov. 10, 1999
White House officials and House GOP leaders are working on a compromise that would place some restrictions on U.S. support for family planning abroad to try to break a deadlock that has held up payment of the roughly $1 billion in back dues the United States owes the United Nations.

Mississippi Awash In Federal Largess
Nov. 9, 1999
Working behind the scenes with Republicans on the Armed Services and Appropriations committees this year, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R- Miss.) was instrumental in getting at least $72.8 million added to defense bills for items made in his state, thereby protecting precious high-tech jobs in a community that otherwise relies mainly on the poultry industry for employment.

White House, GOP Meet to Try to Bridge Gaps on Budget Issues
Nov. 8, 1999
With both sides eager to conclude budget talks, the White House and congressional Republicans met in an unusual weekend session to try to narrow their differences over interior spending and a handful of other key issues that are blocking a final deal.

Battles on Education May Stall the Budget
Nov. 7, 1999
Differences over education philosophy -- more than money -- loom as a major stumbling block toward reaching a final agreement on the budget.

White House, Hill GOP Agree on Foreign Aid
Nov. 6, 1999
The House approved a compromise $15.3 billion foreign aid bill, including funds for the Wye River Middle East peace accord, as Congress and the White House prepared for a final push to settle remaining budget differences next week.

Vote on Spending Bill Sets Up Another Fight
Nov. 3, 1999
Defying a veto threat, Republican leaders narrowly pushed through the Senate a plan to reduce spending by nearly 1 percent at every federal agency, part of the last of the major appropriations bills to clear Congress this fall.

Vote on Spending Bill Sets Up Another Fight
Nov. 3, 1999
Defying a veto threat, Republican leaders narrowly pushed through the Senate a plan to reduce spending by nearly 1 percent at every federal agency, part of the last of the major appropriations bills to clear Congress this fall.

GOP Agrees to Fund Middle East Accord
Nov. 2, 1999
Republicans agreed to go along with the administration's demands for funds to help implement the Wye River Middle East peace accord.

House Cuts Across the Board
Oct. 29, 1999
The House approved a plan to boost spending for health and education programs while ordering a 1 percent cut in virtually every federal agency as Republican leaders positioned themselves for a final showdown with President Clinton over the budget.

Hill Negotiators Agree on NIH Budget Delay
Oct. 28, 1999
House and Senate negotiators have agreed to delay a big chunk of the research budget of the National Institutes of Health, as they struggle to find new ways to hold down costs and stay within tight spending limits.

Across-the-Board Cut Doubted As a Way to Pare Waste, Fraud
Oct. 28, 1999
When Republican lawmakers offer their plan for an across-the-board cut in federal spending, they will defend the budget reduction as a way to force federal agencies to root out waste, fraud and abuse.

GOP: Cuts Would Include Lawmakers' Pay
Oct. 27, 1999
House Republican leaders say they now intend to apply their proposed across-the-board spending cut to the salaries of members of Congress, reversing their policy in the face of sharp White House criticism.

Clinton Cuts Budget Wish List
Oct. 26, 1999
President Clinton vetoed a major spending bill and signed another, as the Republican-led Congress forced him to narrow his budget priorities for the year.

Capitol Hill Spending Is Flush With Pork
Oct. 25, 1999
Even as GOP leaders propose spending cuts that could affect every federal agency, Congress is inserting billions of dollars into the budget for pork-barrel projects.

Clinton to Submit Own Social Security Plan
Oct. 24, 1999
After attacking Republican initiatives, President Clinton Saturday he would submit his own plan to Congress for preserving Social Security.

House GOP Pushes 1.4 Percent Spending Cut
Oct. 23, 1999
House Republican leaders said they intend to impose a 1.4 percent across-the-board spending cut affecting virtually every federal agency.

Brunt of Budget Battle Falls on CBO Chief's Findings
Oct. 23, 1999
At the end of the budget negotiations, Congressional Budget Office Director Dan L. Crippen will deliver the verdict on whether Congress and the White House have lived up to their pledges not to dip into the Social Security surplus to pay for programs.

Democrats Say GOP Distorts Social Security Facts
Oct. 22, 1999
The Clinton administration and congressional allies, worried that Republicans are gaining traction on the traditionally Democratic issue of Social Security, mounted a furious attack, accusing GOP leaders of distorting the record and breaking their vow to soften their rhetoric.

Small Print Can Be Good for Business
Oct. 22, 1999
Dozens of windfalls for business are salted into annual appropriations bills that have been enacted or await final congressional approval.

GOP Raises the Ante on Social Programs
Oct. 21, 1999
Congressional Republicans agreed to pump billions of extra dollars into education, the National Institutes of Health and other social programs to trump President Clinton on some of his signature issues.

Clinton, GOP to Meet on Budget Fight
Oct. 19, 1999
Congressional leaders agreed to sit down with President Clinton to try to begin settling the budget differences that have left billions of dollars in spending decisions unresolved.

President Plans to Battle Hill on Spending Bills
Oct. 18, 1999
The White House is taking a new hard line on spending, saying President Clinton will veto a $12.7 billion foreign aid bill and will refuse to sign other key spending measures until Republicans address his priorities and assure the Social Security surplus is being protected.

Two Pilots of GOP Spending Strategy Use Differing Styles
Oct. 17, 1999
The situation was bleak: Talks over the fate of the F-22 fighter plane had collapsed, and a hot-tempered Ted Stevens, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, refused to even speak to the House's chief negotiator, Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.)

Congress Getting Around Budget Limits
Oct. 16, 1999
As the Republican-controlled Congress struggles to complete work on the budget by a Thursday deadline, it is relying to an unprecedented degree on creative accounting to boost spending beyond what its rules allow.

GOP May Push Vote on Clinton Tax Hike Package
Oct. 14, 1999
In an effort to defuse a White House call for boosting the tobacco tax, House Republican leaders may stage a vote next week on President Clinton's entire $90 billion package of tax increases, knowing that it has no prospect for passage.

Economist Query Hands-Off Social Security Policy
Oct. 10, 1999
As the Republican-controlled Congress ties itself in knots to avoid spending a penny of the Social Security budget surplus, economists and budget analysts say politicians have created an artificial crisis that has little or nothing to do with economics or the safety of retiree benefits.

DeLay Whips Up a Fiscal Showdown With Clinton
Oct. 6, 1999
Having led the successful drive to impeach Clinton last year, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has lined up his caucus behind a confrontational strategy aimed at finally trumping the president in the year-end budget battles that congressional Republicans have invariably lost.

General Spending Cut Wins Support in House GOP
Oct. 5, 1999
House Republicans began discussing the possibility of an across-the-board spending cut as a way out of this fall's budget morass after their plan to delay full payment of tax credits to the working poor was sharply criticized by Democrats and GOP Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

House Resists Senate Environment 'Riders'
Oct. 5, 1999
As House Republicans launched a new attack on Democrats for "raiding" Social Security, congressional analysts said the GOP's own spending plan would siphon at least $18 billion of the program's surplus funds.

GOP Spending Bills Tap Social Security Surplus
Sept. 30, 1999
The House voted to resist any provisions undermining the environment when its negotiators seek a compromise bill funding the Interior Department, setting up a fight with the Senate in coming weeks.

Hill Passes Temporary Spending Bill
Sept. 29, 1999
The Republican-controlled Congress voted for a temporary spending measure that would keep the government open for another three weeks as it tries to resolve internal differences over defense and education spending and other issues in next year's budget.

Bargaining Minimum Wage Hike for Tax Cuts
Sept. 28, 1999
With the Republicans' $792 billion tax bill officially dead, lawmakers and lobbyists for business interests are looking to a bill boosting the minimum wage as their best vehicle for achieving significant tax relief this year.

Clinton Vetoes GOP Tax Cut Bill
Sept. 24, 1999
President Clinton vetoed the Republicans' $792 billion tax cut bill, killing the chances for a major tax reduction this year and raising the likelihood that tens of billions of dollars in federal budget surpluses will be used to pay down the national debt.

GOP Spending Bills Face Huge Hurdles
Sept. 24, 1999
House Republicans yesterday began work on a giant fiscal 2000 labor, health and education measure that roughly matches this year's spending but guts the Clinton administration's education and job-training initiatives.

Hill GOP Leaders Try to Avoid Shutdown
Sept. 23, 1999
The Republican-controlled Congress remains deadlocked over most major spending bills, and its leaders are preparing legislation to avert a politically disastrous government shutdown.

As Surplus Grows, Agencies Feel Pinch as Never Before
Sept. 21, 1999
For federal agencies, this was supposed to be a season of plenty, thanks to growing budget surpluses. Instead, a number of departments find themselves under the knife once again as congressional Republicans scramble to squeeze domestic spending.

GOP Leaders Agree to Bust '97 Budget Limits
Sept. 18, 1999
House and Senate Republican leaders agreed to pump more money into labor, health and social programs, part of an overall budget deal that would bust the spending limits to which Congress and the administration agreed in 1997.

Some Republicans Seek End to Budget 'Gimmicks
Sept. 17, 1999
Restive Senate Republicans are pressuring the GOP leadership to drop their "gimmicks" and take a more straightforward approach to passing major spending bills.

Analysis: 'A Rendezvous With Obscurity'
Sept. 16, 1999
The Republicans finally forwarded their doomed $792 billion tax cut to the White House yesterday, doggedly heralding this exercise in legislative futility with the latest in a series of nearly identical campaign-style rallies.

GOP Has No Luck on a Budget Breakthrough
Sept. 15, 1999
GOP leaders are struggling to keep spending within tight budget limits despite demands by the Clinton administration, lawmakers and special-interest groups for billions more.

GOP Considers 13-Month Fiscal Year
Sept. 14, 1999
Senate Republicans have found another creative way to shoehorn popular domestic programs into next year's tight budget: declaring the coming fiscal year 13 months long instead of the usual 12.

Lockheed Scrambles to Save F-22
Sept. 12, 1999
There are high stakes – and intense emotions – in the debate over the F-22. Never in recent years has Congress threatened a major military program on the verge of production. Now, a combination of circumstances have combined to create a once-unthinkable showdown that will come to a head in a House-Senate conference committee.

Politics of Debt Hits Voters at Home
Sept. 7, 1999
With Congress in recess for the last month, lawmakers from both parties have been sounding out constituents about the $792 billion GOP tax cut package, which President Clinton has pledged to veto once it reaches his desk. National polls suggest that few voters are clamoring for such huge tax cuts.

Hill Republicans Hold Key to Compromise
Sept. 5, 1999
After spending the August congressional recess assailing the Republicans' $792 billion tax cut as irresponsibly large, President Clinton and his senior aides hope they have decisively won the battle for public opinion and that GOP leaders will return to Washington this week seeking conciliation.

Clinton to Seek More for Emergency Spending
Sept. 1, 1999
President Clinton plans to seek an additional $12 billion or more in emergency funding this month for American farmers and for international aid and relief, raising the budget pressures facing lawmakers.

Clinton Assails GOP Tax Cuts as Budget Busters
Aug. 26, 1999
With Congressional Republicans trying to build support in their home districts for a big tax cut, the White House went on the attack, saying the cut would trample budget rules, trigger Medicare cutbacks and kill off some farm safety nets.

GOP Tax Bill Called Key to Better Pensions
Aug. 15, 1999
Americans can find retirement security for themselves and their children in the GOP tax bill that emphasizes personal savings, according to Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

OMB Chief Hits Republican Tax Cut Plan
Aug. 14, 1999
Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob "Jack" Lew and other senior members of the administration's economic team tried to open a new front in the battle with Republicans over their $792 billion tax cut.

GOP Begins Tax Cut Campaign
Aug. 12, 1999
House Republicans brought their $792 billion tax cut plan to a scripted GOP "tax rally" aimed at creating create pressure on President Clinton to reconsider his veto threat.

Governors Cold-Shoulder Federal Fiscal Fight
Aug. 11, 1999
The nation's governors warned Congress and President Clinton not to let their impasse over the budget lead to reductions in federal funding for key health and social services programs administered by the states.

Clinton Is Optimistic on Budget Accord
Aug. 8, 1999
President Clinton told the nation's governors he remains hopeful that the administration and Congress can reach a compromise and avoid a budgetary train wreck this fall.

GOP Ready for Yet Another Budget Fight
Aug. 7, 1999
President Clinton over the past four years has emerged from repeated budget standoffs in the superior political position. This time, Republicans say, things will be different.

Congress Approves GOP Tax Cut Plan
Aug. 6, 1999
Defying President Clinton's veto threats, the Republican-controlled Congress gave final approval to a large 10-year, $792 billion tax cut.

Tax Plan to Pass House, May Founder in Senate
Aug. 5, 1999
The Republicans' giant compromise tax package has run into trouble in the Senate, where moderate Republicans and centrist Democrats are unhappy with its size and tilt toward upper-income Americans.

Hill GOP Agrees on Scope of Tax Cuts
Aug. 4, 1999
House and Senate Republicans agreed on a compromise plan to cut all income tax rates by one percentage point as part of a giant tax cut they hope to tout to voters over the August recess.

Domenici Urges GOP Leaders to Delay Tax Bill Vote
Aug. 3, 1999
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) is urging GOP leaders to put off a final vote on a $792 billion tax bill to avert a showdown with President Clinton that would likely result in no major tax legislation this year.

Pork Barrel Prevalent Despite GOP Vows
Aug. 3, 1999
Four years after House Speaker-to-be Newt Gingrich's post-election prediction that GOP leadership would "radically transform the way government works by Easter," the federal government still does almost everything it did then.

GOP, Clinton Head for Collision on Tax Cut
Aug. 2, 1999
Leading Republican members of Congress dug in their heels over tax cuts, and a senior White House official said the Clinton administration would rather have no tax cut than endanger budget balance and key domestic spending programs.

Senate Passes $792 Billion Tax Cut Plan
July 31, 1999
The Republican-controlled Senate approved a $792 billion plan to provide broad-based tax relief to many Americans, end the so-called marriage penalty, help defray health care and educational costs and offer dozens of sweeteners to corporate America.

Tax Cut Compromise Collapses in Senate
July 30, 1999
Support for a middle-ground bipartisan tax cut plan collapsed in the Senate as party positions began to harden and lawmakers and administration officials expressed skepticism that a compromise can be reached this fall.

Pork Proliferates as House Leaders Woo Votes
July 29, 1999
As the House reaches a crucial point in consideration of major spending bills, the GOP leadership is seeking desperately needed votes by including hundreds of pork-barrel projects in legislation that cuts spending on key domestic programs.

Senate Moves Toward $792 Billion Tax Cut
July 29, 1999
Republicans opened their drive in the Senate for a $792 billion tax cut by beating back a much smaller Democratic plan, but they were forced to accept a 10-year limit on their tax package.

Senate GOP Tax Bill May Lead to Deal
July 28, 1999
Despite renewed White House opposition, the Senate appears poised to approve a giant $792 billion tax cut bill that contains features of what could be an ultimate bipartisan compromise on the contentious issue.

Budget Economics, Politics Collide
July 28, 1999
The good news for critics of the big GOP tax packages now moving through Congress is that many economists say tax cuts are a terrible idea right now, yet a lot of those same economists think more government spending is an equally terrible idea.

'Emergency' Funds Bypass Budget Cap
July 27, 1999
The GOP-controlled Congress is steadily circumventing budget limits that were supposed to restrict the growth of federal spending as it struggles to reconcile its appetite for a major tax cut with pressures to allocate more money for key domestic programs.

Aides Say Clinton Would Veto Tax Compromise
July 26, 1999
With a vote on a major GOP tax-cut plan looming in the Senate, top administration officials say President Clinton will veto a proposed compromise, viewing it as still too large a cut.

Clinton Blasts Size of House GOP Tax Cut Plan
July 25, 1999
President Clinton assailed the House GOP for approving a $792 billion tax cut that he said would make it impossible to use the federal surplus to save Social Security and Medicare.

Business Gets Big Breaks in Tax Bills
July 24, 1999
Business interests won billions of dollars in breaks tucked into the tax bill that passed the House and another plan that is working its way through the Senate.

Senate GOP Tax Cut Plan Hit From Both Sides
July 24, 1999
Moderates and conservatives are pushing their alternatives to Senate Republicans' tax cut plan.

House Passes GOP Tax Cut Package
July 23, 1999
The Republican-controlled House narrowly approved the largest tax cut since the Reagan era, a $792 billion package that could possibly reduce income taxes by 10 percent.

Hastert Rallies Fractious Team
July 23, 1999
In getting House Republicans to pass a GOP tax cut plan, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert scored his first major victory after months of trouble.

GOP Leaders Offer Debt Pledge to Save Tax Cut
July 22, 1999
House Republican leaders agreed to make their huge tax cut proposal conditional on progress in reducing the national debt, apparently averting a threatened revolt by GOP moderates.

Hastert Seeks GOP Unity On Tax Cut
July 21, 1999
On the eve of a crucial floor vote on a $792 tax cut, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert personally pleaded with House Republicans to unite.

House GOP Moderate Offers Rival Tax Cut Plan
July 20, 1999
Republican efforts to pass a major tax cut ran into trouble in the House as a leading moderate offered a substantially smaller alternative that threatens to drain critical support from the GOP plan.

Lott Takes Hard Line on Taxes
July 19, 1999
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott says the GOP will not simply split the difference with Democrats and agree to tax cuts of about $500 billion over 10 years.

Clinton: GOP Tax Cuts 'Bad Economic Policy'
July 18, 1999
Huge tax cuts proposed by Republicans in Congress would "blow a $3 trillion hole" in the federal budget just as Medicare and Social Security are strained by baby boomer retirements, President Clinton said.

Roth Tax Plan Offers Health, Education Aid
July 16, 1999
The $792 billion tax cut plan to be unveiled by Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth Jr. includes substantial health care and education benefits as well as broad-based income tax relief.

Splintered GOP Holds On to Tax Cut Mantra
July 15, 1999
Republicans on Capitol Hill are once again staking their political futures on massive tax cuts.

Senate Democrats Preparing Tax Cut Plan
July 15, 1999
Senate Democrats are preparing to unveil a $300 billion tax cut plan that is far more modest than the huge GOP proposals but that could provide the basis for a bipartisan deal this fall.

House GOP to Counter Clinton Prescription Plan
July 14, 1999
House GOP leaders plan to offer a tax break to help seniors buy prescription drugs, part of an effort to blunt President Clinton's recent initiative on the politically potent issue.

Tax Bill's Breaks Out in the Open
July 14, 1999
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer did unveiled a far-reaching tax measure that boldly – and unabashedly – allocates billions of dollars of tax savings to business interests.

Clinton, Hill Leaders Agree on Budget Goals
July 13, 1999
President Clinton and congressional leaders agree on safeguarding Social Security's future and providing some form of Medicare prescription drug coverage, but they remain far apart on tax cuts.

Panel's Vote on Funds Imperils New Jet Fighter
July 13, 1999
A House subcommittee threw into jeopardy the Air Force's most desired new weapon, the F-22 jet fighter, voting to cut $3 billion that had been requested to produce the first six planes.

Clinton Officials: GOP Tax Cuts Would Cause Deficit
July 12, 1999
White House officials attacked Republican lawmakers' tax cut proposals, saying they would produce a deficit and force drastic cuts in domestic spending by the end of the next decade.

Senate GOP Eyes Big Tax Cut
July 10, 1999
Senate Republicans proposed cutting taxes by $792 billion over 10 years, joining House counterparts in pressing for what would be the largest tax reduction since the historic Reagan-era cuts.

GOP Debates Prospects for Tax Cut
July 2, 1999
A huge surge in projected budget surpluses had Republicans' mouths watering on Capitol Hill as they celebrated the prospects of a new round of tax-cutting with a Fourth of July-style rally.

House GOP to Seek Bigger Tax Cut
July 1, 1999
Anxious to one-up President Clinton after his week of policy initiatives, House GOP leaders are preparing a cornucopia of tax cut proposals totaling as much as $1 trillion.

Budget Surplus Forecast Grows
June 29, 1999
President Clinton announced that the surging economy will pump an extra $1 trillion into government coffers over the next 15 years, allowing the government to stabilize Social Security and Medicare.

$1 Trillion Extra Really Is Possible
June 29, 1999
Economists say that sunny forecasts for an additional added $1 trillion surplus over the next 15 years could prove to be true.

Consensus for Defense Buildup Is Bipartisan
May 29, 1999
For the first time since the Reagan era, a bipartisan consensus has emerged for a major defense buildup.

Easing of Spending Constraints Urged
May 29, 1999
Some House GOP moderates have urged President Clinton and congressional leaders to negotiate changes in the 1997 balanced budget deal to ease spending constraints.

Conservatives Hogtie House Agriculture Bill
May 27, 1999
Conservatives' fury over what they said was excessive spending forced House leaders to pull a $60.8 billion agriculture spending bill from the floor in an early sign that the Republicans' strategy for enacting their budget is in deep trouble.

House Panel Approves Cuts
May 20, 1999
The House Appropriations Committee votes to slash spending on education and other social programs, the opening shot in a campaign to persuade congressional leaders and the White House to lift the strict spending limits Congress has imposed on itself.

Budget Cap Battle Is Coming to a Head
May 18, 1999
The White House and most Republican and Democratic congressional leaders publicly favor retaining the caps, reluctant to dip into surpluses generated by the Social Security trust fund. But appropriators insist this is unrealistic and would force draconian cuts in domestic programs.

Rating the Tax-Cut Possibilities
May 14, 1999
Key lawmakers, aides, lobbyists and other experts suggest that Republicans and Democrats could come together to produce a bill that would give tax breaks to farmers, married couples, senior citizens, small-business owners and others, pleasing constituencies in both parties.

No 'April Surprise' in Store for Federal Budget This Year
April 30, 1999
If preliminary indications are right, April's tax returns are delivering just about the amount of money forecasters predicted, which means little or no "April surprise" and little or none of the extra cash boost the Republican Congress was counting on to fatten its tax-cut proposals.

GOP Wants More Money for Military
April 22, 1999
Congressional Republicans are threatening to use President Clinton's $6 billion emergency funding request for the Balkans war as an opportunity to extract significantly more in military spending.

GOP Leaders Push Tax Cuts at 'Town Hall Meeting'
April 13, 1999
House and Senate GOP leaders staged a national "town hall meeting" to shift public attention to their tax reform proposals.

Congressional Chairmen Leery of Budget Caps
April 6, 1999
Chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees that fund the federal government have revealed widespread doubt that spending limits can be maintained and exasperation with colleagues who refuse to exceed them.

Amendments Muddy Hurricane Relief Package
April 4, 1999
Congressional allies of the oil and mining industries have converted a Central American hurricane relief bill into a private aid measure of their own, crafting legislative language that would save companies millions of dollars in federal payments.

House, Senate Approve $1.7 Trillion GOP Budget
March 26, 1999
The House and Senate approved nearly identical $1.7 trillion Republican budget proposals that would provide huge future tax cuts, increase spending for defense and education and devote a majority of projected budget surpluses to bolstering Social Security.

Emergency Aid Squeaks by House
March 25, 1999
Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) won the first major challenge of his tenure when the House approved nearly $1 billion in emergency aid for Central America and the Caribbean.

Budget Battle Lines Harden on the Hill
March 23, 1999
Congress readies for partisan bickering over a budget that Republican congressional leaders expect will provoke a veto showdown with President Clinton later this year when it results in appropriations bills.

Central American Aid Snagged in Debate
March 19, 1999
A bill containing $1 billion in emergency relief for Central America ended up being held hostage on the Senate floor because of the emerging budget debate between President Clinton and the Republican Congress.

Proposed Tax Cuts by GOP Opens Debate
March 18, 1999
Republicans rejected attacks that that their 2000 budget proposal would shortchange Medicare to provide tax cuts and killed Democratic attempts to delay or scale back those tax cuts.

GOP Plan Boosts Defense, Education Dollars
March 17, 1999
The proposal would cut taxes by $15 billion next year and nearly $800 billion over the coming decade while boosting defense spending by $10 billion next year and adding an extra $3.3 billion for education.

Panel Chairmen: GOP Budget Headed for Trouble
March 10, 1999
The GOP plan calls for more spending for defense and education at the same time appropriators must stick to strict spending caps that they say will cause wrenching cuts in other programs which both parties support.

GOP Struggles to Reconcile Budget Hopes, Fears
March 4, 1999
Republican budget negotiators are caught between tax cuts they want and their fear of being criticized for raiding Social Security.

Military Pay Hike Opens Assault on Spending Limits
February 25, 1999
A Senate vote approving a large military pay increase marked what some lawmakers saw as the opening assault on spending constraints.

Clinton, GOP Battle Over Budget Surplus
February 18, 1999
President Clinton promoted his Social Security plan while congressional Republicans accused him of using phony numbers to mask rising debt.

Blunting GOP's Tax-Cutting Edge
February 8, 1999
President Clinton and congressional Democrats appear close to dominating what once was the Republicans' signature political issue: tax cuts.

Clinton Blasts Republican Tax-Cut Plans
February 4, 1999
President Clinton warned that the GOP would pay for proposed tax cuts by reducing spending on Medicare.

Clinton Releases New Budget
February 2, 1999
President Clinton unveiled a $1.8 trillion budget that rejects the GOP's big across-the-board tax cuts. Full coverage from The Post and LEGI-SLATE News Service.

GOP Wants to Cut Taxes With Surplus
January 30, 1999
The Senate Budget Committee chairman signaled that Republicans will push ahead with plans to spend a big part of future surpluses on tax cuts.

$800 Billion 10-Year Surplus Projected
January 29, 1999
The Congressional Budget Office plans to unveil dramatic new budget projections that are certain to intensify the struggle over what to do with the windfall.

With Black Ink, Clinton Draws a Line
January 21, 1999
In unveiling his plan to preserve Social Security, President Clinton drew a sharp distinction over the fundamental issue of how best to divide vast government resources in the coming decades.

Clinton Addresses Congress, the Nation
January 20, 1999
President Clinton delivered his annual State of the Union address, proposing that federal budget surpluses be used to shore up the nation's two largest social programs, Social Security and Medicare. Full Post coverage.

Senate Panel Projects Huge Surpluses
January 16, 1999
New federal budget estimates project a windfall surplus of as much as $700 billion over the next 10 years.

Budget Revelations Designed to Cast Clinton Favorably
January 6, 1999
President Clinton offered another sneak preview of his proposed 2000 budget, trumpeting about $215 million his plan includes to help states impose tougher drug testing and treatment policies for prisoners and parolees.

Clinton to Seek Defense Spending Boost
January 3, 1999
President Clinton will propose the largest increase in defense spending since the end of the Cold War buildup of the 1980s in the budget he will send to Congress in February.

Republicans Take Aim at 'Marriage Tax'
January 3, 1999
Republicans will resurrect legislative efforts in the new Congress to give married couples a tax break by getting rid of the "marriage tax penalty" in existing law.

'98 Budget Debate


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.

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 shutdown.

Clinton, Congress Reach Budget Deal
October 16, 1998
Full Post coverage, including highlights and analysis, of the $500 billion budget deal.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

More Stories about the 1998 budget debate.

Line-Item Veto


Court Strikes Down Line-Item Veto
June 26, 1998
The Supreme Court struck down the broad new line-item veto authority that Congress had given the president to cancel specific items in spending and tax bills.

Additional background and stories on the Supreme Court case.

Critics, Supporters Unhappy with Inaugural Use of Line-Item Veto
December 2, 1997
With the first round of budget incisions completed – and any future rounds threatened by court challenges – few seem to be pleased with the way the power was used.

Going Light on the Line-Item Veto
November 10, 1997
Chastened by his earlier clashes with Congress, President Clinton is using the line-item veto sparingly.

Line-Item Veto Tips Traditional Balance of Power
October 24, 1997
The advent of the line-item veto has shaken the 200-year-old power relationships in the federal government. The veto gives presidents an unprecedented ability to micromanage the appropriations process.

Veto Is Making 'Pork Barrel' a Shell Game
October 18, 1997
Before President Clinton can determine which legislative tidbits are axed as "pork-barrel" projects and which are welcomed into the federal family, he has to find them.

Clinton Signs Law for Line-Item Veto
April 10, 1996
President Clinton signed into law the "line-item veto," a historic transfer of power from Congress to the White House.

'97 Budget Deal


Budget Pact's 1st Bottom Line: A Surge in Domestic Spending
November 26, 1997
After weathering three years of cuts, spending on domestic programs will increase by $22.6 billion – about 10 percent or nearly four times the rate of inflation. The total budget will hit a record $1.7 trillion.

Economists Support Budget Surplus
October 5, 1997
Some economic analysts say President Clinton and Congress should consider running budget surpluses to pay down the debt and to reduce the government's interest bill.

Despite Shortcomings, Deficit Effort Really Is 'a Big Deal'
July 30, 1997
It took two presidents, four Congresses, an accommodating Federal Reserve Board and a booming economy. But the runaway federal budget may finally be brought into balance.

Clinton Insists Economy Won't Eliminate Deficit
July 16, 1997
President Clinton insisted the deficit would not be eliminated without the plan he is crafting with Congress, despite suggestions that the booming economy may erase the red ink on its own.

Robust Economy Could Erase Deficit by '98
July 9, 1997
The economy's vigor has generated an unexpected surge in tax receipts that could wipe out the deficit as early as next year – without any change in federal policies.

Winners and Losers in a Balanced Budget
May 4, 1997
Balancing the federal budget would mean that future generations would not be required to lower their standard of living so the current generation can continue to live beyond its means.

Americans Oppose Cutting Entitlements to Fix Budget
March 29, 1997
The message from a vast majority of Americans is: Don't balance the budget and reduce taxes if it means reducing spending on Social Security and Medicare.

More Stories about the 1997 budget deal.

Balanced Budget Amendment


Budget Amendment Languishes
June 8, 1997
For years conservatives argued it would take a constitutional amendment to force Congress and the White House to balance the federal budget. But it now appears tampering with the Constitution won't be necessary.

Budget Amendment Barely Loses in Senate
March 5, 1997
The Senate rejected a proposed balanced budget amendment to the Constitution by a single vote for the second time in three years.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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