WASHINGTON - Senate majority leader George Mitchell predicted that the Senate would pass in a very close vote today the $347 billion deficit reduction bill carrying out most of President Clinton's economic program.

After a White House meeting yesterday with Clinton and other Democratic congressional leaders, the Maine Democrat suggested that several of the Senate's 56 Democrats may vote against the bill, along with virtually all the chamber's 44 Republicans, leaving the bill with the kind of razor-thin margin of approval it received in the House.

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