• U.S.

THE ELECTION: Agreements in Principle

2 minute read
Karen Tumulty/Washington

For all their differences, Bill Clinton and the new Congress may be able to get a few things done. On some issues Clinton may even find it easier to do business with the G.O.P. than with his own party:


Though Dole is grumbling about some aspects of the latest version of the worldwide free-trade pact known as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, he is expected to find a way to support congressional approval in this month’s special session. It’s the first order of business in his meeting this week with Leon Panetta, the White House chief of staff.


This measure, which would allow a President to strike individual items from a bill rather than blocking the whole thing, was a Clinton campaign promise and a feature of the G.O.P.’s “Contract with America.”


Everybody wants to pass one, but the budget deficit dictates that it will probably be only a few hundred dollars a year.


A bill that would limit lawsuits and the amount of damages awarded was killed in the last session by a Democratic filibuster. But many of those opponents are now gone.


Small businesses will be pushing the Republicans to support the Administration in overhauling the hazardous-waste cleanup program, long criticized as producing little more than lawsuits.


It’s something both parties claim to want. And public sentiment would seem to demand that they produce something. The question is whether Clinton and the Republicans can reconcile their different views on how and when to throw people off welfare if they do not work? Cost will also be a serious sticking point.

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