Clinton to Meet with Congressional Leaders

By Bruce Sullivan | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

( - President Clinton announced Saturday that he has invited Congressional leaders to meet with him at the White House on Tuesday to discuss the budget and how to deal with expected surpluses resulting from the strong economy.

"Congressional leaders from both parties in both houses of Congress have accepted my invitation to come to the White House next Tuesday to discuss how we can move forward together,'' Clinton said in his weekly radio address.

Last week in his State of the Union address to Congress, Clinton proposed large spending increases along with a $350 billion tax cut over ten years. He also pledged to eliminate the national debt by the year 2013.

Republican Congressional leaders proposed larger tax cuts, and they have criticized the president's spending plans as too large. After the 89-minute speech, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) said that the president spent "$4 billion a minute" for every minute of his speech.

Clinton said that at Tuesday's meeting he will focus on salvaging Social Security and eliminating waste in the Medicare program for the elderly.

"Medicare fraud and waste are more than an abuse of the system. They're an abuse of the taxpayer,'' Clinton said in his radio address, which was taped in Pasadena. ``By overbilling, charging for phony procedures and selling substandard supplies, Medicare cheats cost taxpayers hundreds of millions a year.''

Responding for the Republican leadership, Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma said Republicans agree with Clinton that government waste and abuse must end, but he added that the answer is not to establish more federal programs and bureaucracies.

"His fight is a valid one,'' Watts said in a statement responding to the president's radio address. ``Although we agree on the end, the means by which we achieve that end do differ."