WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican lawmakers and the White House may
seem far apart on a fiscal 2000 budget, but President Clinton on
Thursday offered an optimistic assessment of the situation. "We'll
get this worked out," he said.
Speaking at an education event, Clinton again vowed to veto the
GOP's tax cut plan. But he made it clear that he didn't consider
that a major problem.
"Yes, I'll veto the tax plan," he said. "But let's not stop
with the negative."
Asked after the event whether a deal was possible, he seemed
even more upbeat: "We'll get this worked out."
"This is about making something good happen," Clinton said.
"I think after the August recess, we'll come back here ... we'll
all try and get an A in arithmetic and do the right thing."
The GOP has passed only two of 13 appropriations bills it must
send to Clinton before fiscal 1999 ends in September. White House
officials have declined to say whether Clinton would sign a
continuing resolution while negotiators work out details, fueling
speculation that the country could face another federal government
shutdown. GOP officials are eager to avoid a repeat of the
politically punishing 1995 shutdown.
The president's speech at the education event highlighted a
report that found schools will continue to handle an increasing
number of students in coming years.
Again drawing a distinction between his budget proposals and GOP
plans, Clinton said the report was all the more reason to invest
the budget surplus in Social Security, Medicare and education, and
not embrace the GOP's $792 billion tax cut.