Tags: Democrats | Delay | Your | Tax | Cut

Democrats Delay Your Tax Cut

Tuesday, 22 May 2001 12:00 AM

The bill would reduce income taxes by $1.35 trillion over 11 years.

Even as President Bush urged that the stalling cease, Democrats who want to increase federal spending even more than the president's 4 percent boost tried to sabotage the bill.

But Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said: ``This is not about obstruction. This is not about delay. This is about making sure that the message is as clear as it can be about the choices that the American people must face.''

Some Republicans insisted the delays would only remind Americans that they are the party pushing for tax cuts.

``The longer we have the Democrats dragging it out, the better for us,'' said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

With a crucial group of Democrat moderates in support, Republicans had defeated dozens of amendments over two days in 43 back-to-back roll call votes that kept senators virtual prisoners in their ornate chamber and forced cancellation of committee meetings and other events.

Final passage was postponed until today at the earliest. Republicans even gave up a major GOP fund-raiser starring Bush so they could remain on the floor Tuesday night to vote.

Republicans have expressed a strong desire to see the bill sent to Bush on Memorial Day for his signature. This would avoid a scenario where the Democrats have the full recess to increase their attacks.

To get the bill to Bush in time, the Senate needs to approve the bill, and a conference committee of House and Senate negotiators has to meet and decide on the final format of the bill. Then this committee sends it back to the House and Senate for a final vote.

But between the vote by committee and the final vote, a 24-hour period for printing and examination needs to take place. Even a fast vote might leave the GOP leadership with a tight timetable to get the job done.

Monday, California Democrat Barbara Boxer asked unanimous consent to adjourn the body until morning, but with Republican objections, it was denied.

Then West Virginia Democrat - and unofficial Senate historian - Robert Byrd said that the hour was late and "the bill isn't any good anyway," and essentially said that he would use every tool to delay at his disposal.

Because individual senators have tremendous ability to flummox the process, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., after making several insistent statements that work would continue all night if necessary, was finally forced to adjourn the body for the night at about midnight, as the Democrats clearly could prevent any progress.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The bill would reduce income taxes by $1.35 trillion over 11 years. Even as President Bush urged that the stalling cease, Democrats who want to increase federal spending even more than the president's 4 percent boost tried to sabotage the bill. But Senate Minority...
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2001-00-22
Tuesday, 22 May 2001 12:00 AM
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