Budget Conferees, Deadlocked on Minor Issues, Recess Talks
House and Senate negotiators on the fiscal 1986 budget, bogged down in differences over relatively minor issues, recessed Thursday until next week after failing to agree on a single issue in the last two days of bargaining.
The panel, made up of 17 House members and nine senators, put off until Monday a decision on spending for the Superfund program to clean up the nation’s toxic waste dumps.
The House-approved budget would increase spending for the program by $3 billion during the next three years. The Senate-passed measure provides no additional money for the fund.
Negotiators agreed to leave details of Superfund financing out of the budget, pending approval of legislation to expand the program now before the House and Senate.
However, the two sides could not agree on language and recessed for the week, directing their staffs to devise a compromise position.
Little Progress Made
The conferees, who have been meeting since Tuesday, have made little progress toward a compromise budget.
Both plans call for reducing spending by about $56 billion next year. The Senate would achieve its reduction by eliminating 13 federal programs and canceling next year’s Social Security cost-of-living increases, and the House plan would deeply cut defense spending but leave the Social Security increases alone and scrap only one program, revenue sharing.