In a story in yesterday's editions of The Washington Post dealing with congressional cuts in the defense and foreign aid budgets, a paragraph was omitted. The omission made it appear that Defense Secretary Harold Brown made several remarks that were made by a Pentagon spokesman. The passage should have read: Late last month Defense Secretary Harold Brown got into a hassle with the House leadership when he supported a $2.3 billion increase in defense spending during floor debate on the congressional budget resolution. Yesterday a Pentagon spokesman said Brown was "not upset" at the cuts Mahon's subcommittee had applied to the President's request. "It's difficult to tell how it will sort out," he said, noting that the money bill had to go to the full Appropriations Committee, the House and the Senate.
Two House subcommittees took the ax to President Carter's defense and foreign aid budgets yesterday, reversing the direction of congressional action in the power struggle with the White House over spending priorities for next year.
Up to now, Congress has been raising Carter's proposed 1978 outlays, endangering the President's proclaimed goal of a balanced 1981 budget. Yesterday's cuts totaled $2.7 billion from an overall defense spending proposal by the administration of $113.9 billion.
"We are not unsympathetic to the President's desire to hold the line on spending and fight inflation," House Appropriations Committee Chairman George H. Mahon explained in announcing the defense cuts.
It was also learned yesterday that another House Appropriation subcommittee had voted $6.7 billion for foreign aid next year - an amount $852 million below what the White House wanted.
In a press conference yesterday, Mahon said, "There has been no disposition on the part of the (defense) subcommittee to encourage a conftontation with the President" with its cuts. "But we realize you don't solve all problems, defense or otherwise, by throwing money at them," he said.
Late last month Defense Secretary Harold Brown got into a hassle with the House leadership when he supported a $2.3 billion increase in defense spending during floor debate on the congressional budget resolution.
"It's difficult to tell how it will sort out," he said, noting that the money bill still had to go through the Appropriations Committee, the House and the Senate.
"We expect the Senate will vote a higher figure," he added.
A State Department official yesterday said he was "pleased at the outcome" on the foreign aid bill because he had feared wider cuts than were made.
At one point, he said, the subcommittee had considered deleting all military aid funds for 13 countries where critical human rights reports had been made by Amnesty Internatioral.
In the end, only funds for Ethiopia and Nicaragua were totally cut for human rights reasons while a small slice was taken out of money for the Philippines.
The two biggest cuts in foreign aid were $493 million lopped out of payments to international lending institutions and $300 million disallowed for a balance of payment loan to Portugal.
In approving the defense money bill. Mahon's subcommittee allowed an estimated $1.5 billion to begin production of the controversial B-1 bomber. The President has yet to announce whether he will go ahead with that program.
The subcommittee also included money for a small aircraft carrier Carter wants along with $193.8 million for a new nuclear-powered cruiser.
In a press release, the subcommittee listed 53 reductions in various weapons systems and programs.
The largest, totaling $391 million, were directed at intelligence activities of both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Mahon told reporteds the cuts were "mostly hardware," but refused to elaborate.
While some of the smaller subcommittee cuts are expected to draw Pentagon and White House opposition, a Defense official called attention to several items added to the bill that also will be opposed.
The subcommittee, for example, added $71.5 million to keep the production lines open for 12 A-7E fighters.The plane is built in Mahon's home state of Texas.