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With a 231-203 House majority, Republicans said they were assured of having enough votes to pass a balanced-budget plan, scheduled for a vote yesterday. Senate Republicans readied their own budget plan for floor debate beginning yesterday. Final passage is expected next week. In contrast to the House plan, the Senate measure contains a softer commitment to a tax cut.

President Clinton threatened to veto a $16.4 billion spending-cuts bill that a House-Senate conference approved this week. House Republicans will go forward with action on the bill, even though they acknowledge they don't have enough support to override a veto. (Story, Page 1.)

Senators Kerrey and Simpson said they would propose a package of bills aimed at curbing the growth of entitlement spending such as Social Security. At the same time, the package would reign in congressional and federal government plans.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a GOP plan to cut back three foreign-policy agencies and fold them into the State Department. Under the bill, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the Agency for International Development, and the US Information Agency would be eliminated.

Clinton said he was confident Commerce Secretary Brown would be cleared of any wrongdoing and wanted him to stay on in his Cabinet. Attorney General Reno earlier recommended that an independent counsel investigate Brown's business dealings and personal finances. A federal panel was expected to accept Reno's recommendation.

Republicans are putting $500 million in a defense bill as a down payment on 20 more B-2 stealth bombers, even though the Pentagon has said no more of the radar-evading planes are needed. The bill is scheduled for a House vote next Wednesday.


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