Defense Spending Trimmed

Attempting to ease the way for appropriations conference committees to reach agreement, House and Senate committee leaders have reached a tentative agreement on revised allocations that would provide significantly less defense money than the House level and varying increases for several other subcommittees.

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to meet to discuss the allocations Tuesday.

House Appropriations Committee aides said the new allocations represent a tentative agreement with the Senate, which will mean that House and Senate conferees will have a clear understanding of how much they have to spend on each FY98 bill. The aides said the allocations still conform to the balanced budget agreement.

A House Democratic aide said Democrats are still reviewing the proposed allocation changes.

The new allocations would provide $624 million less in budget authority and $311 million less in outlays for defense programs than the House-passed bill called for. The proposal also would provide $535 million less in budget authority and $517 million less in outlays for the VA-HUD bill than the House had included.

A House aide said the VA-HUD savings assumes passage of Section 8 housing reforms the House Banking Committee is now preparing.

The plan also would provide an increase of $783 million in budget authority and $381 million in outlays for Energy and Water appropriators. However, $600 million of the budget authority and $265 million of the outlays would go to defense-related programs in the bill.

The allocations, which previously were called 602(B) allocations, are again referred to as 302(B) allocations under the balanced budget agreement reached with the administration. Following are the revised allocations, compared with the House- passed versions: Agriculture programs would receive a $100 million budget authority boost beyond the House level and a $30 million increase in outlays; Commerce-Justice-State programs would receive a $58 million boost in budget authority and a $79 million increase in outlays; District of Columbia programs would receive a $30 million increase in budget authority and a $58 million boost in outlays; and Foreign Operation conferees would receive $300 million above the House level in budget authority and $10 million more in outlays.

The Interior subcommittee would receive $100 million more in budget authority and $72 million more in outlays; Labor-HHS programs would receive $150 million more than the House in budget authority and $100 million more in outlays; the Legislative Branch subcommittee would receive $4 million more in budget authority and outlays; the Military Construction budget authority and outlays would remain the same, since the conference agreement has been passed; Transportation programs would receive a $100 million cut in budget authority, but a $70 million boost in outlays; and Treasury-Postal programs would receive a $101 million increase in budget authority and a $112 million boost in outlays.

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