Political leaders on both sides of the aisle stressed on Tuesday a commitment to reach a budget deal that avoids a government shutdown after March 27, when funding expires. But they are at the starting line.
True, $85 billion in spending cuts kick in on March 1, but they won't be widely felt for several weeks. Meanwhile, funding for government operations expires March 27. The two fiscal issues could be rolled into one, but a top GOP appropriator sees that as a recipe for disaster.
When C. Everett Koop finished his 8-year term as surgeon general in 1989, he left behind a landscape where AIDS was a top research and educational priority, smoking was considered a public health hazard, and access to abortion remained largely intact.