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Senate Approves Bush Budget With Smaller Tax Cut

Friday, 06 April 2001 12:00 AM

Fifteen Democrats joined all 50 Republicans in passing the plan. Insiders say the budget still leaves space for tax cuts that will be crafted in later legislation.

Bush, speaking at a White House ceremony shortly after the vote, expressed delight at the vote. "I applaud today's action and congratulate the Republicans and Democrats who helped make it happen," Bush said.

"The House has already passed $1.6 trillion in tax relief. Now the House and Senate will work to find common ground between these two budget plans, and the result will be the largest tax relief in decades. The fact that both houses of Congress have committed to provide significant relief is good for the American people, and it's good for our economy."

Asked if the vote were a setback for the president, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, nodded and said, "It's one of the realities of a 50-50 Senate."

Others painted a rosier picture. Senate Budget Committee Pete Domenici, R-N.M., told reporters that American taxpayers would soon be getting tax relief.

"I want to say to the American taxpayers and American families, this vote today means that help is on the way. It means that a major tax bill is going to be passed by the United States Senate and the United States House shortly after May 18th of this year," Domenici said.

"Might I say," Domenici added, "those who have been waiting for a stimulus, waiting for a permanent marginal rate cut, help is really on the way because we can't avoid it now. Nobody can filibuster it. Nobody can delay it. This is an exciting day because this is the second-most bipartisan budget resolution we've ever had," Domenici said.

The budget protects Social Security, protects the Medicare trust fund and spends more money on government schools, Domenici said.

"I just don't think we can do a better day's work," Domenici said.

Vice President Dick Cheney expressed delight with the Senate vote as well.

"We think it constitutes major progress. It's another step in the effort to get a good, solid legislative program in place, specifically, a significant reduction in taxes for the American people. We think the result, the 65-35 vote, is a good one. It's been a good week for the American people," Cheney told reporters on Capitol Hill.

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Fifteen Democrats joined all 50 Republicans in passing the plan. Insiders say the budget still leaves space for tax cuts that will be crafted in later legislation. Bush, speaking at a White House ceremony shortly after the vote, expressed delight at the vote. I applaud...
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2001-00-06
Friday, 06 April 2001 12:00 AM
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