WASHINGTON (AP) -- The end in sight to one of their most wearying budget wars with President Clinton, Republicans were preparing to wrap up the lame-duck 106th Congress by approving a deal on school spending, Medicare and other issues.
The House and Senate were likely to vote Friday on the overdue package, which covers more than $450 billion in spending and four of the 13 annual spending bills for fiscal 2001. Staff aides were putting finishing touches on last-minute issues, including a dispute pitting administration efforts to protect Alaskan sea lions against the local fishing industry.
The compromise contained spending increases for hiring teachers, repairing schools, biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, Pell grants for low-income college students and other programs.
Also tucked away were scores of home-district water and construction projects for lawmakers totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
Fiscal 2001 began Oct. 1, but disputes kept Congress and Clinton at odds until four days before the Nov. 7 elections. Even then leaders had to bring lawmakers back for two lame-duck sessions before they clinched a deal this week that would let them finally wrap things up for this Congress.
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