Proposed Clinton Budget Takes Aim At Health Care -- Jan. 14, 1997
Bowles: White House Will Fight Balanced Budget Amendment
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AllPolitics, Jan. 19) -- Incoming White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles said Sunday the White House will fight a balanced budget amendment, while Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott warned that such a move could jeopardize Republican cooperation on other issues.
Republicans are expected to introduce a balanced budget bill early in the 105th Congress. Bowles, appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," said "we are against it and we are going to work hard to defeat it. We are for a balanced budget ... [but] ... we don't think it's right to muck around with the constitution."
Bowles, who officially starts his duties as White House chief of staff Monday, added that he thought a balanced budget can be achieved by the year 2002.
Also appearing on "Meet the Press," Lott took aim at Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, who testified against a balanced budget amendment before a Senate panel on Friday.
"He really was hysterical," Lott said. "I was very disappointed in him. How they handle this issue will affect our ability to work on other issues," he added.
Addressing other matters, Bowles said new procedures would be put in place for Democratic National Committee fund-raising. Asked about the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit and other scandals dogging the White House, he said "I think that each one of these disturbances as you call them, do present some things that we have to deal with on a weekly basis. At the same time we have tried to stay focused on doing the people's business."
On Democratic fund-raising, Bowles said "these are issues that we will have to address -- mistakes were made, and we're going to have to address those. We're going to put in some new procedures at the White House to make sure that some inappropriate people who have access to the president won't in the future."
Asked about the use of the Lincoln bedroom as a reward to big donors, Bowles said, "The president has had hundreds and hundreds of people stay in the Lincoln Bedroom. They've been family, they've been friends, they've been supporters, they've been people of every race, color and creed. He's going to continue to have his friends and supporters and people he enjoys and can learn from stay in the White House [and] stay in his personal quarters."
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