Congress Approves Balanced Budget Bill

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: In just two days, the balanced budget bill whipped through Congress, heading for the President's desk as the Senate overwhelmingly passed it by a 85 to 15 vote. The legislation, which aims to erase federal deficits by the year 2002, could lead to the first balanced budget in almost three decades. The bill's major components include a provision which will remodel Medicare and another which will create a $24 billion program of health care for uninsured children. "It is in short a great victory for the American people who are entitled to expect that their adult leaders work together," said Pete Domenici, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. With the budget bill out of the way, Congress will now focus on passing the tax cutting package, which offers a $500-per-child tax credit, a reduction in the capital gains tax and roughly $35 billion in benefits for students. The House will likely give the measure the go ahead today. The Senate is expected to approve it tomorrow.