Top Story: Both sides claim victory as White House and congressional GOP reach a balanced budget deal.
The Deal: How the numbers stack up.
Analysis: Now that the deal is done, who are the winners and losers?
Transcript: Clinton announces budget deal and takes questions.
Transcript: Lott, Gingrich, Domenici and Kasich comment at GOP leadership's ceremony.
Transcript: Briefing on balanced budget deal with Robert Rubin, et. al.
In Focus: AllPolitics special report on balancing the budget.
Budget Negotiators Getting Closer (5/1/97)
The Deal: How The Numbers Stack Up
Medicare savings total $115 billion; tax cuts add up to $85 billion
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 2) -- Although the numbers are still trickling out, it appears both the White House and congressional Republicans achieved important tax and spending priorities in the balanced budget deal announced Friday.
Here are the numbers at a glance:
Medicare: Perhaps surprisingly, one of the thorniest political issue of the 1996 presidential campaign -- Medicare savings -- was seemingly resolved without much of a fight. Negotiators agreed to $115 billion in savings over five years, up $15 billion from the proposal contained in President Bill Clinton's initial budget proposal, which he presented Feb. 6. Republicans last June proposed $158 in Medicare savings, down from their 1995 proposal of $270 billion.
Taxes: The net tax cut amounts to some $85 billion, up from the net $22 billion Clinton proposed in his Feb. 6 budget, but less than the $122 billion proposed by Republicans last spring.
Tax reductions total $135 billion, including relief for higher education (a key Clinton priority) and capital gains and estate tax relief (key Republican priorities). The $500-per-child tax credit is part of the deal, favored by both sides, as is targeted penalty-free withdrawals from Individual Retirement Accounts, which Clinton's budget pegged at $5.1 billion.
Offsetting the tax cuts are $50 billion worth of increases, including the airline ticket tax extension, which was included in Clinton's budget.
Domestic spending: About $20 billion is earmarked to pay for health insurance for five million poor children. Rescinding a key plank of the welfare law, budget negotiators have restored funding for cash assistance to legal immigrants (Clinton had proposed some $14 billion). Republicans previously said they would fight the change.
Announcing the pact today, the president cited increased funding for technical research and environmental clean-up and touted a partial restoration in food stamp funds. The exact amounts are still unclear.
In the last week, negotiators were told they had an additional $200 billion, a dividend from expanded economic growth. A Democratic source said some $26 billion had been added to domestic programs to mollify congressional Democrats wary of the deal.
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