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Partisanship likely to dog Clinton's budget.

The Congressional reaction to President Clinton's budget was muted, but partison, giving a signal of the bitter battles that lie ahead as Congress returns today.

"The Clinton budget stands for everything the American people thought they were voting against in November--bigger taxes, bigger spending, and bigger government," said Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole (R-Kan.). "There's nothing about 'change' in this whopping tax and spend budget."

"Far from being bold or bringing real change to the government that Americans voted for, this budget is nothing more than a return to the failed policies of the past--higher taxes on everyone, more federal spending, and bigger government," said Rep. John Kasich (R-Ohio), ranking Republican of the House Budget Committee.

Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine) responded that "the President's budget includes over 200 specific spending cuts in domestic and defense programs, and raises revenues, most of which would be paid by the wealthiest Americans."

Rep. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) called the President's budget an appropriate response to "12 years of fiscal and social neglect."

Because Congress was in the middle of a two-week Easter recess when the President sent his budget up, many members of the House and Senate will not have had an opportunity to review or comment on the derails of the budget before this week.

But as the smoke clears, the lingering bitterness from the Senate gridlock on the President's stimulus bill appears certain to carry over into the budget debate. Moreover, as the budget is broken down into scores of Congressional panels for action, it runs a risk of being gnawed to death.

"It's troubling to see," warned Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.). "Every group that doesn't want to pay is nibbling away at the plan. But by the time you stop nibbling away at the deficit reduction cake, there will just be a couple of crumbs."
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Author:Shafroth, Frank
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Apr 19, 1993
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