The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved the District of Columbia's $3.4 billion budget for fiscal 1994, including a federal payment of $630.6 million.

The panel's action clears the way for deliberations on the measure before the full Senate. The House of Representatives earlier in the month approved a similar bill. Following action by the Senate, lawmakers from both sides of Capitol Hill will need to iron out differences in the legislation before it can be sent to President Clinton.

The federal payment, given to the city annually to compensate it for the rigors of hosting the federal government, is close to $7 million more than the district received for fiscal 1993, which ends Sept. 30.

The district is unique among U.S. municipalities because its budget must be approved by Congress. Although Congress granted the city limited home rule powers in the mid-1970s, allowing residents to elect a mayor and city council, it retained oversight authority.

In addition to modifying and approving the city's budgets, Congress also reviews all non-emergency legislation approved by the D.C. Council.

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