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Senate Moves Toward A Budget Amendment Vote -- Feb. 24, 1997

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Sen. Landrieu Says Yes To Budget Amendment

The outcome remains in doubt, with Social Security still the big issue

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 25) -- Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), one of two remaining uncommitted senators, announced today she will support the Republicans' balanced budget amendment, although with reservations. (215 K WAV file)

"It's the right thing to do," Landrieu said. With her announcement, the lone undecided member is Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.), who said he would have something to say on Wednesday.

Landrieu said she preferred more flexible, alternative versions of the balanced budget proposal that would exempt Social Security and provide for separate financing for construction projects.

But with those proposals unlikely to move forward, Landrieu said she had based her decision on "many statements made during the campaign on this issue."

Landrieu beat Republican Woody Jenkins last fall by fewer than 5,800 votes, and her support of the balanced budget amendment brings supporters to within a vote of victory.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said he expects a final vote next Tuesday. The next critical vote, expected to occur later today, is on a substitute version by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), that would exclude Social Security.

But Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a proponent of the amendment, said if Reid's version passes, the balanced budget amendment will fail.

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