Senate approves balanced budget
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Friday 26 May 1995
After disposing of some 50 Democratic amendments by laborious voice vote, the Republican majority secured passage of the resolution - calling for deep cuts in health and welfare spending and the elimination of hundreds of federal programmes and the entire Commerce Department - by a comfortable 57 votes to 42. But its ultimate fate may be settled by the row over tax cuts, now inextricably entangled with the battle for next year's Republican presidential nomination.
On Tuesday, the Senate rejected an amendment by presidential candidate Phil Gramm that would have matched the $350bn of tax cuts passed by the House earlier this year, described by Speaker Newt Gingrich as the "crown jewel" of Republicans' Contract with America.
But that setback for the Texas Senator was no worse than the dilemma of his arch rival for the White House, the majority leader Bob Dole. Ever since the budget debate began in earnest, Mr Dole has been caught between moderate Senate Republicans insisting that the deficit must be eliminated before any consideration of tax cuts, and conservative "supplysiders" like Mr Gramm and Mr Gingrich.
In the Senate at least the moderates prevailed, as 23 of them combined with the 46 Democrats to rout the Gramm amendment by 69 to 31, a far wider margin than expected.
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