WASHINGTON -- House Republicans succeeded today in winning speedy approval of a GOP-crafted budget blueprint for fiscal 2001, but the measure faces a bumpy road in the Senate, where conservatives are trying to block it as too spendthrift.
Passage came on a party-line vote of 211-207 shortly after midnight this morning.
The $1.8 trillion measure calls for a minimum of $150 billion in tax cuts over five years, a large increase in defense spending and a modest increase in outlays for domestic programs -- though less than would be needed to keep pace with inflation.
President Clinton has already assailed the GOP plan, asserting that it would cut domestic spending too deeply and imperil the budget surplus.
Quick approval of the budget resolution -- which sets a framework that will be filled in by specific spending and tax bills later in the year -- has been a major priority of House GOP leaders. They hope to avoid a replay of last year's end-of-session budget wrangling with Democrats and the White House and adjourn early so lawmakers can go home and campaign for reelection.
But the timetable may be upset in the Senate, where the Budget Committee is badly split over how much to allot for domestic spending programs.
Senate GOP leaders have warned that they may bypass the panel and bring the measure directly to the floor if the committee has not acted by April 1.
House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., said the proposed GOP tax cut ''sacrifices fiscal responsibility on the altar of massive tax cuts.''
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