The Reagan administration will not win all of its proposed spending cuts in expensive middle-class programs, and administration officials know it, Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) said yesterday.
Dole was quoted as telling the Republican National Committee magazine First Monday that the White House has a separate, less-optimistic tally sheet in addition to its formal budget proposal that lists what program cuts it expects to achieve.
"I've seen a list in addition to the one that's officially up here in which the administration thinks they are not going to achieve what's in their budget," Dole said.
Dole's comments were reported by United Press International. The magazine is not yet published.
Such proposals as elimination of general revenue sharing, the end of subsidies to Amtrak, cutbacks in student loans and reduction in farm price-support programs will meet with a chilly reception when the budget-writing committees get down to business, Dole said.
"There are going to be savings in agriculture, but not to the extent of $16 billion which the administration says its farm cuts will save over the next three years ," Dole said. "It's not any secret. You can go through that budget and say they are not going to get all of this and they won't get all of that . . . like Amtrak."
The proposed student-loans cut is "another one that's going to be modified," and immediately doing away with revenue sharing was proposed "as a gimmick" to reach the spending-cut target of $50 billion, he said, although the program will terminate as planned in fiscal 1987.
Congressional leaders have said in the past that they expected the president's budget to meet with resistance on Capitol Hill, but Dole's statement marked the most specific prediction of which proposals might not be approved.
The administration's intention in asking for drastic cuts in so many popular programs was probably not so much to get all the cuts it asked for but to make Congress "focus on some of these very expensive programs," Dole said.
Defense spending, however, probably will be pared further than the administration would like. Dole told the magazine that the administration list did not envision cuts in its spending-authority figure of $313.7 billion, a 6 percent inflation-adjusted rise from this year.
But, he said, "My own view is, we will make some changes in the president's budget for defense."
Making cuts elsewhere has been a problem for Senate Republicans. Before Reagan proposed his budget Feb. 4, members of the leadership said they would offer an alternative budget with greater cuts in the projected $180 billion deficit than the roughly $34 billion the administration was then discussing.
But that deadline passed, and now Dole and others plan to improve Reagan's budget as part of Congress' budget process rather than start from a separate document.
"We're still working with the administration, and we think we can do better" on deficit reduction, Dole's press secretary, Walter Riker, said yesterday.