WASHINGTON — President Reagan and Senate Republicans, stalemated over how much money to spend on the military, decided today to let a smaller "working group" attempt to settle their differences before the budget goes to the Senate floor.
White House spokesman Larry Speakes said 11 Republican senators, including Senate GOP leader Bob Dole of Kansas and Budget Committee Chairman Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, met with Reagan and his top aides for nearly two hours over lunch but did not strike a bargain over the differences in their budgets.
That disagreement threatens to hold up consideration of the budget by the full Senate.
Slowing Things Down
Domenici had wanted to begin consideration next week, but today's developments make that timetable look increasingly unlikely.
The GOP-led Senate Budget Committee last week approved a spending document for fiscal 1986 that slices $57 billion off the anticipated $200-billion-plus deficit. Its budget allows military spending to rise only with inflation and eliminates a scheduled cost-of-living increase for Social Security recipients.
Reagan, on the other hand, wants a 6% increase for the Pentagon over the inflation rate, and he refuses to touch Social Security. He cut or eliminated many other popular government programs in his budget proposal, but the Senate committee voted to spare them.