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Archive for Friday, May 23, 1997

ROBERTS PUSHES FOR BUDGET PACT

May 23, 1997

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U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts supports the budget resolution now in the Senate.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is fairly pragmatic about the budget resolution before Congress.

"It is not the budget package I would write," Roberts told reporters in a telephone press conference Thursday.

But he pledged his support as a means of arriving at a balanced budget.

"It is a positive step forward," Roberts said of the budget agreement worked out between the White House and GOP leaders.

The outline has $85 billion in tax cuts and a balanced budget by 2002. It sets overall spending and tax totals for the next five years.

Roberts also vowed to continue to vote "no" as debate continued Thursday night on any amendments to the budget resolution.

"I could offer a lot of Senate amendments.... You don't want to put an amendment in there that could defeat the budget," he said.

Roberts said that in future years, he would push for more tax relief on capital gains. He said he also hoped the budget would help trim the federal deficit down to $50 billion next year and that the budget might even be balanced in two years.

On another issue, Roberts told reporters he would begin a three-day tour next week of Kansas military facilities and related industries.

He is a member of the Senate's Armed Service and Intelligence committees.

The tour will provide him with more information as the Senate begins looking at Pentagon recommendations for more rounds of base closings and military budget cuts.

He will start the tour Tuesday in Wichita, where he will visit McConnell Air Force Base and Boeing and Cessna plants.

On Wednesday, he will visit the Raytheon plant in Wichita and then travel to Fort Riley, where he will meet with troops.

On Thursday, Roberts will travel to Fort Leavenworth, where he will take a tour and meet with the staff.

Roberts said he didn't expect the Kansas military installations to be considered in any cutbacks.

He said the command staff school at Fort Leavenworth was "an institution." And Fort Riley has the best training ground in the country for armored tanks, he said.

Roberts declined to comment directly on the case of Air Force 1st Lt. Kelly Flynn, who was up on court-martial charges for adultery and disobedience.

However, Roberts, a former Marine, said he thought all branches of the armed forces should follow the example of the Marines. He said they separate men and women during basic training, then integrate them once job assignments are made.

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