GOP DUMPS CLINTON BUDGET

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So much for President Clinton's audition as a deficit-fighter. Top Republicans now say they believe his alternative 10-year timetable relied onoverly-optimistic economic scenarios and failed to cut Medicare and social services enough."I don't believe it comes close to balancing in 10 years," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.). The White House, which plans to market Clinton's ideas as the more humane route to fiscal responsibility, immediately fired back. "They can't pass a budget over a veto," White House budget chief Alice Rivlin told reporters. Clinton has already alienated congressional Democrats by compromising so much so soon.TIME's Karen Tumultysays he moved too late to have any chance at influencing the GOP. "Clinton picked the moment when he had the least leverage in the process," she says. "By the time he released his budget, the House and Senate were well into their own negotiations."