Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Democrats to Hold off Budget Talks until Bush States Cuts

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Democrats to Hold off Budget Talks until Bush States Cuts

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional Democrats said Friday they will not begin negotiations with President Bush over his $1.16 trillion budget until the administration specifies the programs it would cut to reduce the deficit.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Jim Sasser, D-Tenn., and his House counterpart, Rep. Leon Panetta, D-Calif., said they would meet Tuesday with administration budget director Richard Darman to try to learn more details about the fiscal 1990 spending plan.

They said the vagueness with which Bush spelled out his plan for achieving savings is aimed at putting the pressure - and the blame - on Congress for cuts that will inevitably be unpopular.

``The fiscal buck has traditionally stopped at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but last night President Bush tried to pass it up to Congress,'' Sasser told reporters.

``We need to know the administration's full budget proposals so that everything is on the table if we get to negotiations,'' Panetta said of the blueprint for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 that Bush presented to Congress Thursday night.

Bush said his proposal would leave a deficit of $91.1 billion next year, well within the $100 billion target required by the Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction law.

He achieves that level by holding the growth in the defense budget to the rate of inflation, providing $309 billion in new spending; making a controversial cut in the capital gains tax rate that he says will raise $4.8 billion in new revenues; slowing the growth of Medicare by $5 billion; selling $3.7 billion in federal assets; and extending taxes on telephone service and airline tickets that are due to expire.

In their own analysis of Bush's spending plan, Senate budget committee Democrats said the blueprint would actually produce a deficit of $115 billion, when asset sales were not counted. …

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