WASHINGTON — The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved legislation providing $605.9 billion for federal domestic and military programs this fiscal year, moving Congress a step closer to enacting a deficit-reduction package.
The panel sent the measure to the full Senate after turning aside an amendment that would have provided $22.8 million in non-lethal aid to the Nicaraguan Contras through February.
Congressional leaders plan to send the giant spending bill--and accompanying tax legislation also working its way through the Senate--to President Reagan for his signature before Christmas. Language in the two measures is supposed to cut $30.2 billion from the federal deficit in fiscal 1988, which began Oct. 1, as part of a two-year, $76-billion deficit-reduction plan.
The Contra assistance amendment was brought up by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who complained that the spending bill contained no money for the rebels fighting the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The Contras are receiving about $3 million per month under legislation that expires next Wednesday.