WASHINGTON — The House today approved a $15.1-billion election-year budget package that relies on accounting gimmicks, asset sales and user fees to help meet the government's self-imposed deficit limit in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.
The measure was passed, 308 to 106, despite warnings by Administration officials that major policy changes in the bill--including those that cut defense spending and change domestic policies--could draw a veto from President Reagan. Rep. Robert S. Walker (R-Pa.) compared the savings in the bill to levitating an elephant. "It's a magic act. It should not be taken seriously," he said. But the House Budget Committee chairman, Rep. William H. Gray III (D-Pa.), said the $15.1-billion package was "the best that can be done given the political reality facing us."