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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Clinton Seeks Budget Accord With Reluctant Republicans




WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Bill Clinton and top congressional Republicans are holding budget talks at the White House even as their heightened distrust and rancor complicates prospects for a quick agreement.


The two sides planned to meet Tuesday, 19 days into a new fiscal year in which only five of the 13 annual spending bills have become law. Five others have either been vetoed or face veto threats over issues including hiring teachers and police officers and blocking tougher environmental requirements for some oil and mining companies.


But with neither party ready to go to the brink, Congress planned as early as Tuesday to approve an eight-day extension of the temporary measure that has kept federal agencies open since fiscal 2000 started on Oct. 1. The first stopgap bill expires Thursday night.


"I'm just going to reach out a hand of friendship and hope that we can work together," Clinton said of the White House session Monday night in Newark, New Jersey.


That hand is being extended as relations between the White House and Congress have worsened. Last week's Senate rejection of the nuclear test ban treaty has sparked bitter accusations of partisanship from both sides.


Of the five bills in the center of this year's spending fight, Clinton wants less than $10 billion more than what Republicans have offered, a tiny portion of the nearly $600 billion that the annual spending bills control.


On Monday, Clinton vetoed a $12.7 billion foreign aid bill that fell $2 billion below his request. It omitted the $500 million he wants for Israel and the Palestinians to implement the accord they struck last year at Wye River, Maryland. It also provided less than he wanted for international debt relief and efforts to reduce the nuclear threat from Russia, North Korea and other countries.