Federal government resumes operations

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON The federal government reopened yesterday after congressional Republicans and the White House ended their budget showdown and agreed to balance the budget by 2002. But to get there, dramatic negotiations lie ahead over taxes, Medicare, education and the environment.

The crisis atmosphere, which sent 800,000 ''nonessential'' federal workers home for six days, eased yesterday with agreement on a temporary spending measure that will keep the government operating through Dec. 15.

By voice votes last night, the House and Senate adopted legislation to reopen the government for one day, and President Clinton quickly signed it. The Senate also approved a bill funding the government through Dec. 15 and the House planned to follow yesterday.

House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio, elated that the Republicans won their non-negotiable demand for a seven-year balanced budget, said, ''Americans in Congress are fighting over great principles.''

Clinton said yesterday the temporary agreement ''reflects my principles'' because Republicans showed a willingness ''to move forward without forcing unacceptable cuts in health care, education and the environment on the American people.''

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