From: Charles Bierbauer/CNN
Subject: Senate Budget Markup Expected To Begin Thursday
The Senate Budget Committee expects to convene Thursday afternoon to begin the markup of the budget resolution intended to balance the federal budget in the next five years. The term "markup" refers to the detailed review the committee does, reconciling differences into a bill which passes the committee vote and is then presented to the full Senate.
Republican sources say the process will be "hopefully bipartisan." Negotiators have been meeting over the past week since a budget agreement was announced. Public bickering suggested the agreement was shaky.
Republican sources say at least on the Senate side, negotiators are "pretty much in agreement on the framework." The overall numbers -- net tax cuts of $85 billion, $35 billion of that for Clinton education credits, and $115 billion in Medicare savings -- are about the same.
"It's a budget resolution, not a dictate," one Republican source reminded. A budget resolution is not binding and does not have to be signed by the president. But it sets a framework for subsequent legislation: the so-called reconciliation bill which sets the tax and spending limits and the 13 appropriation bills which actually fund the government.
Senate Budget Committee action is expected to start about 1:30 Thursday with a committee vote later in the day. The timing of action in the House Budget Committee is less certain.
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