House Speaker Urges Stimulus Program
WASHINGTON — HOUSE Speaker Thomas Foley (D) of Washington says "there's going to be a lot of unhappiness in the House" if President Clinton's $16.3 billion jobs package is cut sharply.
The bill, stymied for days in the Senate by a Republican filibuster, includes a wide range of programs including summer jobs for youth, unemployment extension, and local projects favored by many of the nation's mayors.
At a breakfast meeting with reporters, Speaker Foley notes that Republicans in the Senate have indicated support for certain portions of the Clinton package, including jobless benefits, summer jobs, and child immunization.
But if the final package includes only those Republican-backed programs, "then I think that effectively the stimulus package has been killed," Foley says.
Democratic leaders are hopeful that a scaled-back version of the Clinton package can pass the Senate this week. The House already passed the full program.
Foley expects a House-Senate conference to attempt to bring the final package closer the original program, but says: "I can't predict what is going to happen."