Tags: Bush | Tells | Senators | Stop | Delaying | And | Approve

Bush Tells Senators to Stop Delaying And Approve His Tax Cut Plan

Wednesday, 23 May 2001 12:00 AM

The president added his voice to a growing chorus of Republicans venting frustration at Democratic tactics to stall the tax bill. The Senate spent a second day wading through a series of amendments that Democrats offered to show their dissatisfaction with the proposal.

"I want the Congress to pass tax relief now," Bush told wire service reporters at the White House.

Democratic leaders defended their maneuvers, saying they needed to offer repetitive amendments to define their objections to the 11-year package of tax cuts.

"We are going to continue to fight for these issues on the floor, during this debate on this bill for as long as it takes to ensure that our message is as clear as clear can be," said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

While passage of the tax bill was possible late Tuesday, Democrats would not say when they might give up on adding amendments to extend a series of back-to-back votes that began Monday evening. The parliamentary showdown forced the cancellation of Senate hearings, and Republicans said they would forgo a Republican fund-raising dinner with Bush on Tuesday evening.

Once the Senate approves the bill, House and Senate negotiators will resolve differences in versions of the tax bill produced by the two chambers.

The Senate bill creates a 10 percent tax bracket that would be retroactive to Jan. 1, delivering $300 to single earners and $600 to married couples this year. Republicans must determine if the benefits will be delivered in rebate checks or by adjusting federal tax withholding in worker paychecks.

Also this year, taxpayers eligible for the $500 child tax credit would get an additional $100 credit per child.

Other benefits begin to phase-in next year and some do not become fully effective until 2011.

For married couples, the 15 percent rate bracket would be expanded to include income currently taxed at 28 percent, a feature designed to help ease the marriage penalty. The standard deduction would be doubled to equal that available to two single workers.

The Senate bill also would reduce all existing marginal tax rates except for the 15 percent tax bracket. The 28 percent would be reduced to 25 percent; the 31 percent to 28 percent; 36 percent to 33 percent; and 39.6 percent to 36 percent.

Among the most controversial issues to be resolved with the House is how deeply to cut rates for high-income earners. While the Senate lowered the maximum rate to 36 percent, many Republican leaders are eager to lower it further, to the 33 percent proposed by Bush and which is contained in the House legislation.

The Senate package also would eventually double the $500 child tax credit and make a portion of it available to millions of low-income families for the first time. It would repeal the estate tax, expand the earned income credit for the poor and expand benefits for education and retirements savings.

Congressional negotiators must resolve a host of other differences in the Senate and House bills.

By late afternoon Tuesday, Republicans appeared to be losing patience, as chances to send a finished tax bill to the president by Memorial Day became less likely. On the Senate floor, and in dueling news conferences, Republicans urged Democrats to bring to an end their filibuster-by-amendment strategy.

"It's clear they are delaying. It's time to bring it to a halt," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

(c) 2001, The Dallas Morning News.

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The president added his voice to a growing chorus of Republicans venting frustration at Democratic tactics to stall the tax bill. The Senate spent a second day wading through a series of amendments that Democrats offered to show their dissatisfaction with the proposal. ...
Bush,Tells,Senators,Stop,Delaying,And,Approve,His,Tax,Cut,Plan
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2001-00-23
Wednesday, 23 May 2001 12:00 AM
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