WASHINGTON — Congress moved into the final lap of deficit-cutting Monday as two negotiating teams tackled the job of reducing the 1988 deficit by $30.2 billion.
Relatively few concrete actions were taken by House-Senate conference committees charged with reconciling differing versions of two bills: a $600-billion spending measure and a package of tax increases and spending cuts. But legislators said they sensed a strong desire to finish both tasks by the middle of this week, in order to wrap up the 1987 congressional session considerably before Christmas.
"We are near the conclusion of an enormous task," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman John C. Stennis (D-Miss.).
Accept Some Provisions
Tax negotiators agreed to accept $1.8-billion worth of provisions that are identical in the House and Senate bills, including an extension of the 3% tax on telephone service, which otherwise would expire at the end of this year.
Other identical provisions, virtually certain to become law, include denial of the tax credit for child care for the cost of sending a child to overnight camp, imposition of Social Security taxes on employers for tips earned by their employees and imposition of a flat 34% tax rate on "personal service corporations," including certain types of law and other professional firms.