Senators Head for Home; Reps Still in DC
With tempers still flaring, the nation's senators have voted to go to separate corners and cool off, leaving Clinton and the federal budget to fester in Washington until after the election. Before exiting, the Senate passed two stop-gap measures that will keep the government's lights on until they return on November 14.
Both Republicans and Democrats claim their sides will be strengthened by the retreat. Democrats are hopeful that they will pick up seats in both chambers in the upcoming election. "If we do well we will be in a better position in the negotiations," said Tom Daschle, Senate minority leader.
Although members of the House of Representatives agreed to stay in Washington this week, in spite of the Senate evacuation, House Minority Leader, Dick Gephardt, D-Mo, declared Congress to be over on Thursday and suggested disbanding the House.
Clinton has agreed to sign a 14-day Continuing Resolution which would keep government functioning until Congress reconvenes, however the House rejected the plan, supporting instead a day to day continuing resolution. House members, despite Gephardt's desire to go home, plan to stay in Washington at least another day and perhaps through the weekend.
House Republicans expect to pass a landmark Everglades restoration bill on Friday that is expected to help Governor George W. Bush pick up votes in Florida, one of the major states that appears to be undecided in next Tuesday's presidential election.