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O'Neill Dares Reagan to 'Fight for Budget'

February 05, 1986|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.) challenged President Reagan on Tuesday to campaign for his budget as hard as he has for his tax overhaul bill.

"I'm personally going to ask the President of the United States to speak and fight for his budget," O'Neill said.

Reagan traveled around the country last year on behalf of his tax overhaul proposals. The House passed its version and the Senate is now considering the measure.

O'Neill told reporters that he wants the public to be informed of details of the President's budget proposals, which are expected to call for termination of dozens of federal programs.

The White House, which sends its budget to Congress today, would prefer to quickly bury the document, he said.

"There's nothing Mr. (presidential spokesman Larry) Speakes would rather say than it's dead," O'Neill said. "Well, it's not dead. This year, the President's budget is going to be heard."

The House Budget Committee plans hearings around the country next week to highlight the Reagan spending plan. O'Neill said he plans to give the House a chance to vote separately on the plan, and he predicted little support even among Republicans.

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