The Budget

The barons of congressional appropriations committees, no friends of budget deals that tie their hands, are already at work trying to undermine last fall's budget pact. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee, led off a hearing on the Defense Dept.'s fiscal 1992 spending plan by warning that he'd find it hard to maintain a high state of military readiness while living within the agreed-to $283 billion Pentagon budget. A plan to reduce after-inflation military spending by 26% over six years was the cornerstone of the White House-Capitol Hill budget pact.

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