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Highway builders have lobbied hard over the years - with hard cash - for government money to finance road projects. In the last six years, they gave more than $3 million in political donations to get the attention of lawmakers in Washington, the watchdog group Common Cause said.
Fairchild Air Force Base would move into the 21st century a couple of years early under a deal Congress reached this week on the nation's military construction budget. Negotiators for the two houses of Congress have said some $30 million should be spent starting next year at the West Plains base. They want to move up the schedule for three major construction projects. President Clinton's 1998 budget had proposed a $7.3 million operations center for one of the base's KC-135 squadrons.
Up to 13,000 Idaho children who now don't have medical care could be covered under a new federal-state partnership expected to start in October. Under the new budget bill, Congress has authorized nearly $40 billion over the next 10 years to expand health care coverage for poor children.
House speaker Newt Gingrich laughts with his wife, Marianne, left, during reception after bill's passage. Photo by Associated Press
President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore help pull up a water sample from Lake Tahoe Saturday while on board the John LeConte research boat from the University of California at Davis. Photo by Associated Press
A Senate panel agreed Friday to increase spending for the National Endowment for the Arts instead of cutting off support as the House voted to do last week. "There was no support - zero support - of the 15 members of this subcommittee to wipe out the National Endowment for the Arts," said Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash.
Northrop's B-2 Stealth bomber: an innovation born in a competitive era. Photo by Associated Press
An assembly line worker installs parts on an F/A-18 Hornet at the Northrop plant in Los Angeles. Photo by Associated Press
The stealth fighter may not be so stealthy, a GAO report says. Photo by Associated Press
To flood-stricken citizens, the emergency disaster-relief bill meant billions of dollars in potential aid. To Republicans, it meant a chance to settle scores. But for lawmakers who mostly remain nameless, it also offered the opportunity to collect millions of dollars for dire emergencies such as a $12.3 million garage for a Veterans Affairs medical center in Cleveland, a study on why the cost of higher education continues to rise and the repair of a not-so-dilapidated theater in Ashland, Ky.
Despite a veto promise by President Clinton, the Republican-controlled Congress passed an $8.6 billion emergency disaster relief bill Thursday which provides money for flood victims in California and the Middle West. Final passage came in quick succession, first in the Senate, 67-31, and then in the House, 220-201. The House majority is far short of that needed to override a Clinton veto.
As House members packed their bags to leave town, the Senate on Thursday voted down the last major amendment to the budget resolution as it moved toward a congressional commitment to balance the budget by 2002. With a final vote scheduled for today, senators killed a proposal to add $11.6 billion for federal highway projects over the next five years, on a 51-to-49 vote.
State lawmakers agreed to a $19 billion budget Saturday that includes an additional $129 million to get it past Gov. Gary Locke's veto pen. Locke vetoed chunks of the budget agreement lawmakers sent him last week. The new version calls for $19 billion to be spent over the next two years and stays $119 million below the state tax and spending lid.
Independent counsels investigating President Clinton, the first lady and other administration officials have spent nearly $36 million in two years, logging their most expensive six-month period yet by spending more than $10 million from April through September 1996, according to the most recent figures compiled by the General Accounting Office. The GAO report provides further evidence that Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr is carving out a place in specialprosecutor history with his spending. In the six-month period ending Sept. 30, 1996, he spent $5,049,625, bringing his total to $22,298,708. His investigation began in August 1994, but is approaching the cost of a longer-running probe into favoritism in the Reagan administration's Housing and Urban Development Department.
House Republicans on Wednesday proposed a $1.86 billion state construction budget for the next two fiscal years, focusing on college and school projects. The plan closely parallels a proposal approved by the GOP-controlled state Senate last Friday, but lags $82 million below the level sought by Democratic Gov. Gary Locke.
Spokane got most of what it asked for when lawmakers released the House capital budget Wednesday. The $1.8 billion budget, which provides the same money for Spokane's top projects as the Senate spending plan, is expected to be passed by the House on Friday.
Sens. John Warner and Dirk Kempthorne take testimony Saturday at NIC. Photo by Craig Buck/The Spokesman-Review
Unveiling his $175 billion plan for funding U.S. highways over the next six years, President Clinton proposed Wednesday allowing states to start charging tolls on interstate highways and letting them use the revenue to improve their transportation systems. "States need a lot of resources - state, federal and other - to keep up with the aging of their transportation systems," Deputy Transportation Secretary Mortimer Downey said Wednesday. "This could be one more way to raise those dollars."