WASHINGTON -- Congress is ready to grant final approval to a Republican-written $1.8 trillion budget for next year that calls for tax cuts, debt reduction and extra money for defense, education and medical research.
The House planned to vote on the election-year measure today, and Senate passage was expected tonight or Friday morning. That would let the two houses complete the budget by the usually ignored April 15 deadline for the second consecutive year, underlining the drive by GOP leaders for Congress to adjourn early this fall for the political campaigns.
The measure assures coming clashes with President Clinton, who has complained that to pay for its excessive tax reductions, the GOP budget would force cuts in many domestic programs.
Clinton does not have to sign the budget, which sets spending and tax targets for fiscal 2001. But none of the subsequent 13 annual spending bills for next year, which actually provide the money, or any tax bills will become law without his signature. It is these measures that will become political battlegrounds.
The GOP plan calls for at least $150 billion in tax cuts.
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