It's a Deal

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Flush with a sudden $200 billion windfall, the Clinton Administration and Republican Congressional leaders agreed on a plan to balance the budget by the year 2002. The deal includes a net $85 billion in tax cuts over five years and could result in the first U.S. balanced budget in three decades. Negotiations went into hyperdrive on news that an unexpectedly strong economy had produced an additional $200 billion in revenues. TIME's Jay Carney says that the added money should bring many Democrats on board because it will allow deficit reduction while maintaining a level of funding for domestic programs that most Democrats will find acceptable: "It looks like Clinton will get a lot more Democrats than he had thought. These new numbers suddenly brought quite a bit of extra money to close this deal, and because of this, they can do away with some of the cuts the House Democrats considered onerous." Although House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt has made noises opposing the deal, TIME's Karen Tumulty says he won't be able to hold up passage. "Clinton doesn't care about Gephardt's position and he doesn't have to. He's going to line up enough conservatives and moderate Democrats that he won't have to worry about the liberal griping."