SANTA BARBARA, CALIF., NOV. 25 -- President Reagan has scheduled a lobbying effort next week to push for the deficit-reduction compromise and is willing to give tax writers in Congress "quite a bit of room" in preparing a package, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said today.
Reagan will urge a group of chief executives of major corporations to back the deficit package when he meets with them next Monday and plans to launch a round of meetings with members of Congress on Tuesday, as well as make calls throughout the week, Fitzwater said.
The president wants approval of the package "as quickly as possible," Fitzwater said. The agreement, if approved by Congress, would reduce the deficit by about $30 billion in the current fiscal year and $45 billion in fiscal 1989, which begins next October.
The planned lobbying effort comes as Reagan is preparing for the summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
The deficit-reduction agreement calls for $9 billion in new taxes, but leaves the specifics to the congressional tax-writing panels. House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.), in setting ground rules for the new tax bill, has taken off the table a major proposal dealing with corporate tax payments that previously had support in both chambers. As a result, there is now only $6 billion in taxes to which both the House and Senate tax-writing panels have agreed.
Fitzwater took a conciliatory approach to Rostenkowski's action.
"I'm sure there will be a lot of give and take in that area. There will be a process of working with him," he said.
Fitzwater added that there is "quite a bit of room" to raise taxes without violating the "parameters" of the compromise. This includes no changes in personal income tax rates and no tampering with the third year of indexing, he said.
The deficit-reduction compromise was prompted by the Oct. 19 stock market plunge. If approved by Congress, it would supersede the automatic $23 billion spending cut required by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings budget law.
Reagan took action this week to protect funding for his Strategic Defense Initiative if the deficit-reduction compromise falls apart and the Gramm-Rudman cuts take effect for fiscal 1988. He ordered that the automatic spending cuts affecting the military -- about half of the $23 billion in reduction -- would come from programs other than SDI.