US Democrats in budget deal

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The Independent Online
Congressional Democratic leaders yesterday said they had reached a compromise on President Bill Clinton's economic plan that will cut the deficit by dollars 496bn ( pounds 330bn) over five years, and it will be formally announced today, Reuter reports from Washington.

'We expect the announcement to be made (today) in detail, which allows us to indicate that the largest deficit-reduction package in history has been concluded, one that provides dollars 496bn in deficit reduction,' the House of Representatives Speaker, Thomas Foley, told a news conference.

Mr Foley and the Senate majority leader, George Mitchell, predicted the bill would pass the House on Thursday and the Senate on Friday. The bill includes a 4.3 cent-per-gallon petrol tax and raises income tax on the wealthy.