A preliminary House budget proposal would ask committee chairs to determine which program budgets to cut and by how much -- but to find total savings in mandatory spending of $68.6 billion over five years, including $7.8 billion in fiscal 2006. At deadline, the House's $2.6 trillion fiscal 2006 budget proposal was being hammered out in talks expected to continue into the night. The cuts in mandatory spending were some $18 billion more than President Bush requested. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said the Senate budget resolution would include Medicaid cuts of $14 billion over five years to slow annual Medicaid spending growth to 7.2% from a projected 7.4%. The Senate Budget Committee was expected to begin work on the budget resolution today and continue the process Thursday. Frist, speaking at a health insurance industry meeting, said the budget resolution would not spell out Medicaid program changes and the cuts would be determined subsequently. -- by Ralph Loos
Mandatory spending cuts grow in House budget plan
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