Budget talks between Bush administration officials and congressional leaders move today to Andrews Air Force Base, where the bargainers are hoping for a quick takeoff.

The negotiators hope the change of scenery will help them do in four days what they could not accomplish in the 84 days before the August congressional recess: agree on a way to pare the federal budget deficit by $50 billion next year and by $500 billion over the next five years.

But shifting from a meeting room in the Capitol to the base's Officers Club will not ease the tough questions with which the bargainers must grapple -- whose taxes to raise and which programs to cut.

"It's not the physical location," said House Budget Committee Chairman Leon E. Panetta (D-Calif.), "it's the will of the people who are participating that counts."

Those questions are made even more difficult by the turmoil in the Persian Gulf. The cost of the massive U.S. military deployment in the region, now projected at $11.3 billion next fiscal year, makes it harder to cut Pentagon spending while the drag put by higher oil prices on an already shaky economy makes some lawmakers wary of seeking a big cut in the deficit.

And getting agreement on a deficit-reduction plan among the bargainers may be the easy part compared with rounding up the votes in the House and Senate to pass a package of tax increases and spending cuts less than two months before an election.

"The bottom line around here is that we've got to have the votes," Senate Minority Leader Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) said yesterday. Dole's House counterpart, Rep. Robert H. Michel (R-Ill.), added: "It will take an awful lot of salesmanship on the part of those of us in the leadership and the full backing of the president to make it stick."

But some bargainers hope that an irresistible force -- time -- will ultimately spark the so-far immovable talks. If a budget agreement is not in place by Oct. 15, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law would impose across-the-board spending cuts of $105.7 billion, half from military accounts and half from domestic programs.

Lawmakers also said that unless an accord is reached by Monday, it probably will not be possible to shepherd the accord through the legislative labyrinth before the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deadline. "Monday is really the drop-dead date," Panetta said.

Bargainers hope that President Bush, who will preside over the start of today's talks, will be able to approve an agreement when he returns from his meeting in Helsinki with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev Sunday night and then embrace it when he addresses a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.

All sides vowed yesterday to work toward agreement. "The time for partisanship is past," Bush told a GOP fund-raising event in Kansas yesterday. "The time for avoiding tough decision is gone," he said. "Let's fix this budget mess once and for all."

"We are prepared to do what it takes for however long it takes to reach an agreement," said Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine).

Today's session is expected to begin with an exchange of proposals. Republicans plan to offer essentially the same plan Office of Management and Budget Director Richard G. Darman formulated in late July.

That outline contained several controversial elements, including a limit on the federal tax deductions for state and local income taxes and steep increases in the federal excise tax on beer, wine and hard liquor. It also included a cut in the rate at which capital gains are taxed.

As much as $16 billion of the savings in the GOP plan would come from programs, known as entitlements, that benefit everyone who meets certain conditions; $6 billion of that came from Medicare.

Democratic negotiators met into last night to develop their proposal, which is likely to call for more savings from military spending than the administration wants and a smaller cut in entitlements.

Many bargainers were reluctant to even contemplate failure yesterday because the price of not succeeding is so high. "If we don't get a budget agreement, we're in real trouble," Dole said. "And I mean everybody -- the Congress, the president."

For Congress, failure would mean attacks from a popular president going into a fall election campaign. If the talks are still bogged down when Bush makes his televised address Tuesday, House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) raised the specter of Bush telling the nation that "the Congress and {Iraqi President} Saddam Hussein are the two he can't work with."

To add to the pressure, Darman sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to make plans for automatic spending cuts in the legislative branch. "I trust you agree with me that it would be unseemly (at best) if the Executive Branch were to implement sequester fully, while the Legislative Branch were somehow to fail to do so," he wrote.

For Bush, the pressure is to prove that giving up his "no-new-taxes" campaign pledge was worthwhile. "I can't understand why Bush gave up so easily on a fundamental belief," said one conservative GOP strategist.

The stakes may be just as high for Darman, the administration official who is most closely identified with advocating a big deficit-reduction deal. In discussions with lawmakers, Darman consistently intimated that he is ready to make such a deal. He helped nudge Bush away from his anti-tax pledge and is most responsible for putting together a budget package.

Bargainers on both sides also reaffirmed their commitment yesterday to try to reduce the fiscal 1991 deficit, now projected to be $232 billion, by $50 billion and to find $500 billion in savings over five years. Some economists have argued that the economy was to fragile to absorb that big a cut.

Traveling with Bush, White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu said the administration was "absolutely committed" to those figures. Any suggestions that Bush would accept a smaller first-year package are "totally wrong," Sununu said.

Staff writer Ann Devroy, travelling with Bush, contributed to this report.