The Nation

White House Budget Director Richard G. Darman, accused by Democrats of playing games when the deficit must be reduced, refused to reveal President Bush's policies on a wide swath of domestic programs in testimony before the House Budget Committee. Darman repeatedly declined to say what spending levels Bush wanted next year for programs such as care for poor pregnant women, veterans' education and mass transit. Budget Committee Chairman Leon E. Panetta (D-Monterey) criticized Darman for outlining options but not Bush choices in the hundreds of pages of documents he was presenting to Congress. "There have been too many games played with the deficit issue in the past," Panetta said. "My concern is when you strip the rhetoric aside . . . some of the same games are being played."

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