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President Bush opposes a Senate urban-aid bill as too costly and will urge Congress to pass a scaled-down version quickly to avoid the wrath of angry voters in an election year, officials said Sunday.

Mr. Bush opposes the bill, passed by the Senate last Thursday, because $1.45 billion in aid was added to the measure. But officials refused to say whether he would veto the legislation if it reached his desk.

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"The amount is too high, although no one wants to say that publicly," said one administration official in Washington. "We still have a [federal] deficit to worry about."

But Housing Secretary Jack Kemp has said that Republicans should not favor budgets over people.

He said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press": "I personally don't believe the budget should take precedence over economic growth."

"It would be a terrible situation to have Republicans positioned as worried about the budget over people," he added.

The White House prefers a $822 million urban-aid bill passed earlier by the House over the Senate's more costly version.

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