The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 19, 1995 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, May 19, 1995
Page 5
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The Salina Journal Friday, May 19,1995 A5 GOP pushes budget through House Plan would slash spending, deficits By Th« Associated Press WASHINGTON — Triumphant Republicans pushed a historic budget through the House on Thursday that would halt decades of federal deficits, slash spending and bestow the biggest tax break since the Reagan era. By a near party-line vote of 238193, GOP lawmakers approved a plan they said would wring an unprecedented $1.4 trillion in savings from budgets over the next seven years. Medicare and Medicaid would take the biggest hits and hundreds of other programs would be eliminated, but the sting would be soothed for some by $350 billion worth of tax breaks for families, corporations and investors. As a down payment, House Republicans later won passage of a bill paring $16.4 billion from previously enacted budgets. That bill to immediately cut $6 billion from housing programs, $2 billion from airport improvements, $1.5 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency and $875 million from school programs passed 235-189. Down the hall, the Senate commenced a weeklong debate on its own $961 billion seven-year budget-balancing measure that for now lacked tax reductions. Passage there was certain, too. But for the moment, the focus was on the House, whose more conservative members have propelled the Women's right to vote on stamp By The Associated Pross WASHINGTON — Rep. Pat Schroeder, D-Colo., was climbing the podium at ceremonies unveiling a new postage stamp commemorating women's right to vote when her beeper went off — summoning her to cast a vote in the House. "That's appropriate," Schroeder said, urging women to celebrate winning the right to vote 75 years ago. The new 32-cent commemorative stamp will go on sale Aug. 26, the date the 19th Amendment took effect. The GOP budget The House passed a budget Thursday that Republican leaders say will eliminate the federal deficit by 2002. Highlights: TtMvote: 238-193 UN ftpvtngt: $1.4 trillion over seven years »W^WWjF JHIWUP^Ni Recipients of Medicare, Medicaid, welfare and food stamps; veterans; farmers; students. Who gain*: .. Families, corporations and investors who'll receive $350 billion in tax breaks. What's next: The Senate is debating a similar $961 billion measure that would cut more than 100 programs and offers no tax reductions. It's likely to pass. AP Republican drive to transform federal priorities. President Clinton issued a terse statement in which he said the House plan "fails to meet that test" of a disciplined budget that reduces the deficit and reflects American values. "It slashes Medicare to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, reduces crucial investments in education and raises taxes on working people," Clinton said. "There is a right way and wrong way. This is the wrong way." As the final roll call was under way, a line of Republican lawmakers snaked up the steps to the speaker's desk so Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., could autograph copies of the budget that claimed it would lead to a surplus in 2002, the first since 1969. Six months after the GOP captured control of Congress on pledges to control the deficit and shrink government, Republicans trumpeted that their package would deliver just that, to the benefit of ordinary Americans. "The 21st century is about the power of the individual, not the power of bureaucracy or the power of red tape," said the plan's chief architect, House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio. As they have for weeks, Democrats protested that the Republican blueprints would cruelly siphon money from Medicare, Medicaid and other programs for the elderly and poor to help provide tax cuts to the well-to-do. "Republicans are trying to sell the idea to the American people that you can make massive cuts in programs and give big tax breaks to the wealthy in this country and nobody will feel it," scoffed Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash. Clinton and Democratic leaders offered criticism but no competing plans of their own to eliminate the deficit, while Senate Democrats planned efforts — sure to fail — to ease GOP reductions in Medicare, education and tax breaks for low- income workers. House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., told reporters before the vote: "They won the election, they control Congress, and they're going to pass something that represents their values." White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta talked strategy with Democratic senators and offered a perspective the administration hopes voters will remember next year. "The last thing we need to do is to cut the investments we make in our children, for example, in order to give tax breaks to the wealthy citizens of this country," Panetta told reporters. But Republicans used to occasion to try to reap credit for being alone in trying to end deficits. "One team favors bigger government, larger bureaucracy and higher taxes," taunted Gingrich in a breakfast speech to the National Association of Manufacturers. "The other team favors smaller government, less bureaucracy and lower taxes. Now I'm fairly comfortable giving the American people in the '96 election that choice." On final passage, Rep. Michael Flanagan, R-I11., was the only Republican to vote against the plan. Ethics panel says next move up to Packwood By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Sen. Bob Packwood soon will receive a major delivery from the Senate ethics committee — reams of evidence it gathered over 30 months on his alleged sexual misconduct, improper use of influence with lobbyists and obstruction of its own inquiry. The next move is up to the five-term Oregon Republican, ethics committee Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said . "I think it's safe to say that the ball is now in Sen. Packwood's court," McConnell said at Thursday's news conference with the committee's vice chairman, Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev. Bryan and McConnell said there was no set schedule by which Packwood must respond to the committee's evidence. However, committee staff said Packwood will be presented with an expected timetable. The two senators said committee staff members have spent more than 11,000 hours since December 1992 looking into the allegations against Packwood, interviewing or taking testimony from more than 260 witnesses and reviewing more than 16,000 pages of documents. 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