Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Budget Negotiators Make `Headway' / a Few Major Issues Unresolved

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Budget Negotiators Make `Headway' / a Few Major Issues Unresolved

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior budget negotiators from the House and Senate made ""substantial headway'' in private bargaining Wednesday as they tr ied to salvage a deficit-reduction package of spending cuts for Congress to consider before beginning an August recess Friday.

""A few major issues remain unresolved,'' Sen. Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said as the conferees temporarily suspended their talks early Wednesday evening. They planned to resume later in the night after checking with the leaders and other legislators from the House and Senate.

Domenici said he wanted to ""know everybody's bottom line and then we'll be in a better position to indicate whether we can get a budget resolution or not.''

But, he added, ""We've made substantial headway.''

Nonetheless, problems plaguing this year's search for ways to trim government red ink were mounting and it appeared that there still may not be final action this week.

Some legislators were suggesting that procedural problems could prevent action before the recess even if there is agreement among negotiators on a compromise version of fiscal 1986 spending plans passed earlier by each chamber.

In addition, hard feelings persisted among Republican senators upset at the absence of White House support for a Senate deficit-reduction proposal that included taxes and a delay in Social Securityincreases.

Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., said any budget produced now will be a ""watered-down, nothing budget.''

Dole also indicated the weariness that he and other senators feel for the budget process, saying, ""If we're going to have a budget we ought to do it as soon as we can.''

But, he said, if there is no sentiment to waive a legislative rule requiring a three-day wait before compromise measures are considered, he can see no reason for the Senate to stay beyond Friday.

""I think this year was a pretty good opportunity (to cut the deficit), but it's gone,'' Dole said. …

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