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Republicans Refuse Meeting With Clinton

Republican congressional leaders abruptly canceled a budget-bargaining session with President Clinton Wednesday, saying there was no reason to meet until the administration presents a serious new offer.

The decision, further clouding already troubled prospects for a budget deal, followed a 40-minute telephone conversation among Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, House Speaker Newt Gingrich and House Majority Leader Richard Armey.

Afterward, the GOP leaders issued a statement calling the talk “frank and useful,” and saying they would meet the president “once he proposes a firm budget offer that moves in the direction” of the plan Republicans offered last week. No new meeting was scheduled.

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