House Budget Committee Proposes $550-Million

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Washington--Congressional debate over the fiscal 1983 federal education budget shifted to the House of Representatives last week, as Democrats on the House Budget Committee approved a resolution that sets broad spending targets for federal programs next year.

The proposal would permit spending for education programs to grow by $450 million next year--$200- million for elementary- and secondary-school programs and $250 million for higher-education programs.

The plan would also include $100- million for a new federal foreign-language education program, which has been proposed in a bill sponsored by Representative Paul Simon, Democrat of Illinois. The Budget Committee agreed to the program, which would be funded by reducing the military budget by $100 million, based on an amendment sponsored by Representative Simon.

Most of the conservative Republi-cans on the Democratic-controlled committee voted against the budget resolution, and they are expected to introduce amendments to the plan when it goes to the floor for a vote.

Objections to the Budget Committee's spending plan also are expected in the Republican-controlled Senate, where the Senate Budget Committee last week completed action on a budget resolution that would include no increases for education programs in 1983. The Senate plan would "freeze" spending for education, as well as for other domestic programs, at the fiscal 1982 level of approximately $13 billion.

Both House and Senate budget plans, however, contain significantly higher authorizations for education than did the budget proposed early this year by the Administration. President Ronald Reagan would spend only $9.95 billion for the Education Department in fiscal year 1983, which begins Oct. 1.

'Appeal to Both Parties'

The chairman of the House Committee, James R. Jones, Democrat of Oklahoma, described his budget proposal as an attempt to "appeal to both parties. We must accelerate the budget process as quickly as possible, so we can have a budget in place before the appropriations bills begin," he said.

The Representative was referring to a three-month stalemate between the Congress and the Administration over the budget proposed by the President for the fiscal year 1983.

Agreement on the budget resolution seemed to have been reached last week when the President announced that he would support the Senate plan, which had been hammered out by the Senate Budget Committee in late-night sessions.

Opposed by Liberal Democrats

But the Senate plan, which was scheduled to go to the full Senate for a vote last Friday, is opposed by liberal Democrats. Some of them, including Senator Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina, were expected to propose amendments that would add additional funds for education and other programs.

Oppose Senate Plan

Two Republican Senators, John H. Chafee of Rhode Island and David F. Durenberger of Minnesota, also said they planned to propose an amendment that would add funds for education programs to the Senate proposal.

The Senate proposal is also opposed by Republicans in the House. The minority leader, Representative Robert H. Michel of Illinois, called the agreement between the White House and the Senate "a miserable prospect."

Vol. 01, Issue 34

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