The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 15, 1997 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

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Salina, Kansas
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Thursday, May 15, 1997
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Page 8
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MAY 15, 1997 WASHINGTON THE SALINA JOURNAL FEDERAL BUDGET T DISASTER RELIEF Budget lines GOP senator drafts balanced-budget proposal House holds up disaster-relief bill By ALAN FRAM The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Reflecting a deal between President Clinton and Congress that is nearly complete, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici prepared a budget-balancing plan Wednesday that envisions $212 billion in savings on the way to eliminating deficits in 2002. Details of the package, which Domenici tentatively planned to present to his committee for votes as early as today, were obtained by The Associated Press. Aides cautioned that last-minute changes might be made. Documents show that because the bulk of the plan's savings •would not occur until its final two years, deficits for the next three years would be higher than the $67 billion expected for 1997. They would rise to $86 billion in 1998 and $90 billion in 1999, then fall back to $82 billion in 2000 and $52 billion in 2001 before the government's annual budget is balanced in 2002. The upward spike in shortfalls is certain to anger many conservatives, who have insisted all year that the year-to-year deficit * ABORTION should glide consistently down toward zero. Of the $212 billion in savings, $149 billion — or 70 percent — would occur in years 2001 and 2002. Many Republicans, including Domenici over the years, have criticized budget plans that postpone the bulk of any savings until near the end, arguing that they may never occur. As Domenici, R-N.M., prepared for his panel's meeting, the House Budget Committee also planned to meet today to write a similar package. GOP leaders would like to push a final version of the measure through Congress before lawmakers leave for a Memorial Day recess on May 23. The measures the budget committees will write set binding overall figures for tax and spending, and in most years make nonbind- ing suggestions about what specific policies and programs should look like. Final decisions about details will be made in spending and tax bills later this year. But for this year, at least, those later bills are expected to be heavily influenced by the budget-balancing deal Clinton and congressional leaders announced May 2. White House and congressional bargainers continued working Wednesday night to put finishing touches on documents that spell out details of their budget pact. "There are some potentially contentious issues," Domenici said of the remaining disagreements. "In my opinion, none should be show-stoppers." Of the papers still being completed, one was an addendum describing overall plans for spending and the process by which the president and Congress would try getting their deal enacted into law. The other was a letter focusing on the accompanying package of tax cuts, which are to total a net of $85 billion through 2002. The package is to include GOP-sought reductions in the capital gains and estate levies, credits and deductions for higher education that Clinton wants, and tax credits for children that both parties have pursued. Though Domenici wrote the package he planned to bring to his committee, he was hoping for support from Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, the senior Democrat on the panel. On Tuesday, Lautenberg said he expects to be able to support the emerging deal. By The Associated Press WASHINGTON Rebellious Republicans joined Democrats in stalling House action Wednesday on a bill providing $5.5 billion in disaster relief. Dissatisfaction over several issues, including a vote on U.S. presence in Bosnia and funding for a children's nutrition program, emerged in a surprising 229-193 vote to defeat a procedural step needed to allow debate on the bill to proceed. Forty-three Republicans joined in rejecting a rule determining what amendments are in order and how long they will be debated. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston, R- La., said he was confident the Rules Committee would make the adjustments needed to satisfy rebellious Republicans so they could try again today. "We just need to change a few provisions," he said. Republican lawmakers said later that they had ironed out differences and were ready to try again. "We're going to write a new rule and come back tomorrow," said House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who voted "no" earlier in protest over a change in the rule. The disaster-relief funding bill, which passed the Senate last week, has been a battleground for political disputes with Republicans seeking to add measures the administration says would provoke a presidential veto. The basic bill, which both parties support, would provide some $8.4 billion in new funding this fiscal year, including $5.5 billion to pay for aid to disaster-hit areas in 35 states and $2 billion to finance peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia and the Middle East. "It's important that we send a message," said Rep. David Camp, R-Mich., a "no" voter. Senate debates banning some late-term abortions MAURE WEIGEL Auto - Home Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The Senate plunged into emotional debate Wednesday on Republican legislation to ban certain late-term abortions, and a leading sponsor expressed confidence the votes were secure to defeat a White House- backed alternative. ' Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., conceded, however, that Democratic Header Tom Daschle's rival propos- fl was hampering his bid to amass a Breto-proof majority behind his bill. 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