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Published in Print: September 9, 1998, as Tight Legislative Calendar Awaits Congress

Tight Legislative Calendar Awaits Congress

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Washington

With only a month left on the legislative calendar, Congress and President Clinton have a lot of work to do.

Although Republicans have shown little interest in the president's call for hiring 100,000 new teachers, renovating or building 5,000 public schools, and making big increases in education technology spending, Mr. Clinton continued to push his agenda in public events in late August.

But with members of Congress eager to recess by early October in order to hit the campaign trail and the president feeling the effects of the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal, there appears to be little chance that Mr. Clinton will secure victories this fall for all of his programs.

Over the next month, Congress will concentrate mostly on passing the annual appropriations bills that pay for education and other programs. The House's education spending bill, which ignores most of the president's agenda, calls for a 2.5 percent funding increase for the Department of Education. Mr. Clinton has already said he would veto the measure because it falls $2 billion short of what he wants.

Republicans are countering the president's agenda with their own plans for folding 31 education programs into a block grant and overhauling federal bilingual education initiatives. Even if those manage to pass Congress this year, they probably would also face the veto pen.

Meanwhile, Congress and Mr. Clinton are more likely to agree on a bill to reauthorize federal student loans and other programs in the Higher Education Act.

--DAVID J. HOFF

Vol. 18, Issue 1, Page 34

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