Federal File: Budget season; Picks and pans

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The Office of Management and Budget has returned revised 1990 budget proposals to federal agencies, kicking off an annual guessing game that will last until the numbers become public in early January.

Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos, who has vowed to fight for more money for his department, apparently made some substantial upward revisions in the budget plan that had been drafted by his predecessor, William J. Bennett.

The new secretary went so far as to recall a budget that Mr. Bennett had sent to omb in order to make the changes, said Mr. Cavazos' spokesman, Mahlon Anderson.

Sources in the department and on Capitol Hill said that the final ed budget proposal would not be one of Spartan austerity. But it is clear that omb rejected some of the department's plans.

Mr. Anderson said he did not know if Mr. Cavazos would appeal any decisions.

Aggrieved officials also have the option of appealing to President-elect George Bush, who may submit revisions or an entirely new budget after he takes office on Jan. 20.

The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have rated the 1988 voting records of members of the Congress. As usual, their kudos go almost exclusively to Democrats.

The two groups selected a different range of votes on which to base their scores. The aft included such issues as apartheid and mass transit, while the nea stuck more closely to education.

Still, the results were pretty much the same. In the Senate, 28 Democrats went with the aft on all their votes, while 20 Democrats backed the nea every time. The aft gave perfect scores to 119 House Democrats and the nea rated 100 of them perfect.

Senator Lowell P. Weicker Jr. of Connecticut, defeated for re-election this year, was the only Republican in either chamber to receive perfect scores.

The nea would have given perfect scores to retiring Senator Robert T. Stafford, Republican of Vermont, 20 additional Senate Democrats, and 82 House Democrats if they had not voted for an automatic budget-cutting mechanism. Jesse A. Helms of North Carolina was the only legislator to receive zeroes from both unions.

Without their votes for a noncontroversial education reauthorization bill, however, 7 other Republican senators and 16 gop House members would have scored zero on the nea's list, and 4 gop senators and 45 House members would have received zeroes from the aft--jm

Vol. 08, Issue 14

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