Clinton Pushes Congress on Budget

Saturday, October 21st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — President Clinton, pressing his attack on congressional Republicans, invoked the needs of public schools in a demand that Congress pass the rest of the federal budget and cease attempts to pile on ``record amounts of pork-barrel spending.''

``We're three weeks into the fiscal year and they're still running the government on a week-to-week basis,'' Clinton said Saturday during his weekly radio address.

He repeated his vow to sign only stopgap spending measures good for a day, rather than a week or more, intending to increase pressure on Republicans to pass full budget bills.

``I'm still fighting to get a budget that reflects the priorities of our people,'' Clinton said, focusing on what he said is the need to pass bills to build and repair new schools and continue the work of hiring 100,000 new teachers for the nation's classrooms.

He said his spending plan saves money while Republicans are seeking to spend it, ``loading up the spending bill with record amounts of pork barrel spending.''

His remarks came after a Friday spent fund-raising and broiling the GOP for its claims that only their presidential nominee, George W. Bush, can bridge party lines to make Washington work.

``The Republicans are seeking to be rewarded for the harsh partisan atmosphere they created,'' Clinton said Friday night.

After rallying Massachusetts Democrats on Friday, Clinton was raising still more money for the party at Indianapolis rallies and events.

In Massachusetts, he flatly predicted victory for his vice president, Democratic candidate Al Gore, even though he conceded that at the moment the race is ``as tight as a tick's hat band.''

Gore and Democrats will win when voters see the differences between the two parties clearly, Clinton said. But he said Bush and Republican allies are striving, in effect, to rewrite history and blur differences on key issues.

And he said it is clearly unfair to blame Democrats for partisan combat and a lack of cooperation across the aisles of Congress.

``Once we made it clear to them that we weren't going to let them shut the government down, abolish the Department of Education and have the biggest education and health care and environmental cuts in history,'' he said, ``we got a bipartisan welfare reform bill, a bipartisan balanced budget and the biggest expansion of children's health care since Medicaid in 1963.''

Citing other examples where he said progress was made with bipartisan support, Clinton cited the extension of legislation to put 100,000 new police officers on the street and 100,000 new teachers in the schools.

``So if somebody says to you, I've got to vote for the other guys because they're for bipartisan solutions, you say, 'Hello? Stop. Facts. Do a fact check here,''' the president said.

``I like that about the Republicans; the evidence does not faze them, they are not bothered at all by the facts.''

In Massachusetts, Clinton spoke at a dinner in Lowell that raised $250,000 for the re-election campaign of Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., who is seeking a sixth congressional term. Later, he raised some $500,000 at a private Boston dinner to benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.