House Democrats said yesterday that they would oppose any effort by the Reagan administration to wrap all of its proposed domestic spending cuts into a huge bill for a single up-or-down vote of the House.
"What was floated today ain't going to happen," said House Majority Leader James C. Wright Jr. (D-Tex.). "I am not going to tolerate the thoroughly unprofessional situation in which members are forced to vote literally on hundreds of programs in one fell swoop."
The administration successfully used just such a strategy in 1981 to push massive spending cuts through the Democratic-controlled House, and White House officials indicated yesterday that President Reagan was considering repeating those tactics for next year's budget.
But House Democratic officials said the leadership would not allow a repeat of the 1981 experience. The leadership may allow one huge package to come to the floor, but only if all portions of it can be amended and therefore voted on separately, officials said.
White House spokesman Larry Speakes said yesterday, "If the Democrats are serious about reducing the deficit, they should not attempt to throw roadblocks into the procedure."
Speakes said a separate vote on every program was "the view of certain people who want to have their cake and eat it too." He added, "It's clear that the Democratic leadership is going to have to agree to it, and we think that the American people are entitled" to a package vote.
House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel (R-Ill.) agreed yesterday that a big package of reductions would stand a better chance than piecemeal consideration of cuts. However, a House Republican aide said, "If what we're hearing about [in terms of cuts] is true, it wouldn't pass in one package or 10. They're going after some popular programs."