House Speaker Thomas Foley predicted Thursday that the House would approve a Democratic budget for 1993 that would double the "peace dividend" that President Bush wants and pour most of the money into health care and other domestic programs.
The Democratic-dominated House was poised to adopt the $1.5 trillion spending plan Thursday, despite Republican opposition, in an election-year clash over post-Cold War priorities and the recession."Our budget is realistic," Foley, D-Wash., told reporters as debate on the spending plan began. He said it makes "domestic investments that go to the underlying problems of society," like health and road-building programs.
On Wednesday, the lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected Bush's budget on a 370-42 vote. All 250 voting Democrats, 119 Republicans and the one independent voted against the president's plan, while 42 Republicans voted for it.
Democrats argued that Bush failed to take advantage of the Soviet Union's disintegration, shifting inadequate defense dollars into job training, education and other economy-strengthening initiatives.
"Now's the time to use some creativity, some imagination and hopefully some compassion so that we focus on the needs within our own society," said House Budget Committee Chairman Leon Panetta, D-Calif.
Republicans who opposed Bush's plan found its more than $21 billion in minor tax increases and cuts in veterans' and other benefit programs too politically risky to support.