WASHINGTON -- The Senate is expected to give final approval to President Clinton's $1.5 trillion fiscal 1995 budget as early as Wednesday, one week after the House approved the compromise budget plan.
The compromise includes $13 billion more in spending cuts over five years than either Clinton or congressional leaders originally proposed. The cuts came after House and Senate conferees split the difference between the Senate's plan for $26.1 billion in additional cuts and the House version, which followed Clinton's spending plan.
The Senate will not act on the budget until at least Wednesday because a congressional contingent is traveling to South Africa for the historic swearing-in of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president.
The $13 billion in added spending cuts would come from the one-third of the budget that is made up of discretionary programs, including domestic, defense, and foreign aid programs. Some House and Senate aides have indicated that the cuts are likely to come from defense because the administration wants to protect domestic programs that already have tight budgets.
The actual cuts will be made by the appropriations committees before the new fiscal year starts on Oct. 1.
In debate on the House floor last Thursday night, Budget Committee Chairman Martin O. Sabo, D-Minn., said, "My advice to those who are concerned about where these additional cuts will fall is to expect your favorite program to be affected, and be pleasantly surprised if it is not."
The budget agreement puts the fiscal 1995 federal budget deficit at $175.4 billion, about $100 billion less than Congress and the administration projected last year. But the deficit will begin to rise again by 2000 if mandatory spending programs -- primarily Medicaid and Medicare -- are not reined in, congressional aides have said.