The House overwhelmingly approved a $12.6 billion foreign aid bill yesterday that would slash many international programs championed by the Clinton administration.
Next come negotiations with the Senate and then a likely veto confrontation with the White House.
The 385-35 House vote exceeded the two-thirds margin needed to override a veto. But many House Democrats hinted they might support a veto if negotiators don't find more money.
"I plan to vote `aye' to move the bill along," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). But she complained it contains "too little money to work with."
Although Pelosi and other Democrats said they hoped some of the program levels could be raised in negotiations with the Senate, it won't be easy.
A House-Senate conference committee will be named to iron out differences.
The Senate's $12.7 billion version, passed June 30, is also threatened with veto. It also slashes many international aid programs while providing unrequested money for a Kosovo security force.
Both Senate and House measures would cut Peace Corps funds.
The House measure also would deny U.S. funds for foreign organizations that perform abortions or engage in lobbying activities that change the abortion laws of foreign countries. It would also freeze funds for international family planning assistance at $385 million.
Before the final vote on the bill after three days of debate, the House approved, by voice vote, an amendment by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) cutting $2.3 million from the U.N. World Heritage Fund and the U.S. Biosphere Program, shifting the money to child survival and disease programs.
Overall, the House bill would cut President Clinton's aid request by $1.9 billion for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, and spending in the current fiscal year by $715 million.
Administration officials warned that the cuts, as well as the restrictive abortion language, could lead to a veto.
The bill would provide $7.4 billion for economic aid, $3.6 billion for military assistance, $1.1 billion for international agencies and $595.5 million for export assistance.
The legislation also includes the first funding cut for the U.S. Army School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Ga.
It also would reduce aid to the former Soviet republics and chop aid to Russia by 50 percent unless it ends nuclear and ballistic missile cooperation with Iran.