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Senate OKs Tax Cut Procedural Hurdle
NewsMax/PRN Newswire ^ | 3/10/04

Posted on 03/10/2004 7:21:36 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection

The Senate voted Wednesday to make it tougher for Republicans to muscle tax cuts through Congress as Democrats won an election-year struggle that could hinder some of President Bush's economic priorities. By a 51-48 vote, the GOP-dominated Senate agreed to require 60 votes for tax cuts considered over the next five years that are not paid for with other savings.

That requirement could doom all but the most popular tax reduction plans in the 100-member Senate, which Republicans control with 51 seats. It also would complicate Republican efforts to deliver the core of Bush's plan for reviving the economy, making $1.1 trillion worth of tax cuts permanent that will otherwise expire by 2011.

The provision, added to a $2.36 trillion budget bill that the Senate was debating, could disappear by the time House-Senate bargainers produce a compromise spending plan, perhaps next month. The GOP-run House is sure to strongly oppose the language.

Even so, passage of the plan was a setback for the White House and GOP leaders, who lobbied heavily against it but saw four moderate Republicans vote yes anyway. Its approval underscored the political potency of record deficits, which are expected to approach $500 billion this year.

Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., chief sponsor of the approved proposal, said it "makes it harder for this body to make deficits worse. ... That's as it should be."

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Don Nickles, R-Okla., said the plan would throw obstacles before the GOP agenda of keeping tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 from reverting to earlier, higher rates.

"If you want to keep tax levels where they are today, adoption of this amendment is going to make it a lot harder," he said before the vote.

Minutes earlier, the Senate, by a mostly party-line 52-47 vote, rejected an effort by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., that would have forced Republicans to garner 60 votes for this year's tax reductions only.

Among those voting for the provision was Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., his party's presumptive presidential nominee, who altered his schedule to attend what was expected to be a close vote.

In a separate move, the Senate voted 95-4 to restore $6.9 billion the budget would cut from Bush's $421 billion defense proposal for next year.

Nickles had proposed the reduction as part of his plan for easing record deficits. But pro-Pentagon Republicans, led by Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., and Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, forced the issue and with troops in the field were supported eventually by Nickles and most other lawmakers.

Across the Capitol, House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, backed away from his earlier plan to cut $2 billion from Bush's defense plan, clearing the way for his committee to approve its own budget on Thursday. Defense hawks in the House had rebelled against the cuts.

Congress' budget sets tax and spending guidelines for lawmakers for the year, but actual changes are made in later legislation.

The Senate GOP's plan for cutting taxes this year -- with an $80.6 billion, five-year price tag -- is dominated by three popular proposals to extend tax reductions set to expire next year.

They are an expansion of the bottom 10 percent income tax bracket to cover more people; the easing of taxes on married couples; and the $1,000 per child tax credit that would drop to $700 without action. They are expected to pass Congress easily this year, no matter how many votes are needed.

They are also expected to include a less popular fourth proposal to move up by one year -- to 2009 -- the year the estate tax is supposed to expire.

Feingold's provision would restore budget rules that expired in 2002. A weaker version has been in effect since last year.

The prospects for Feingold's amendment were seemingly damaged earlier Wednesday when Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., a former budget committee chairman and respected deficit fighter, said he would not co-sponsor it.

Domenici had considered co-authoring Feingold's plan, but didn't want it to take effect until next year. He denied that he had backed away from it at the request of the White House and Senate GOP leaders.

Crossing party lines were Republican Sens. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and John McCain of Arizona; and Zell Miller, D-Ga. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., recovering from surgery, did not vote.

Most tax cuts that Bush wants extended will expire later this decade, mostly after 2010. He has proposed extending tax cuts worth $1.1 trillion over the next decade, $1 trillion of which expire after 2009.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: frontpage; taxcuts; taxes

1 posted on 03/10/2004 7:21:37 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The democrat have won this round. Fight is NOT over.

Now we defeat this in the U.S. House and defeat it in any conference committee. Do not let this become law.

Question: Does the President get a chance to veto this?

2 posted on 03/10/2004 7:25:27 PM PST by PetroniDE (Kitty Is My Master - I Do What She Says)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
It'll never come through congress.
3 posted on 03/10/2004 7:25:54 PM PST by VaBthang4 (-He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps-)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Two Words:

STUPID REPUBLICANS!!!!!!!


With Republicans like Chaffe, McCain and Snowe, who needs Democrats?

Maybe we do deserve to lose and relgate ourselves back to the minority party!
4 posted on 03/10/2004 7:29:22 PM PST by The South Texan (The Democrat Party and the leftist (ABCCBSNBCCNN NYLATIMES)media are a criminal enterprise!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The RINOS that voted for this just elected John 'Effin Kerry! I hope their proud of themselves!! Republicans like these we DON'T NEED OR WANT!!
5 posted on 03/10/2004 7:30:27 PM PST by teletech (Friends don't let friends vote DemocRAT!)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
How about a measure requiring a 60% majority to RAISE any taxes?

The only way to stop this open-ended idiocy will be to enact a Constitutional Amendment placing absolute ceilings on ALL tax rates. Making long-term investments knowing the Feral Gub'mint can arbitrarily tax away any gains is one of the main hinderances to economic growth. I never took an economics class and even I can figger out that one.

6 posted on 03/10/2004 7:31:54 PM PST by Morgan's Raider
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To: PetroniDE
I thought this was a decision for Senate procedural rules regarding beinging taxcuts to the senate floor for a vote, thus the dexision does not need house approval.
Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I thought anyway.
7 posted on 03/10/2004 7:32:16 PM PST by DefCon
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
I'm not sure this is so bad - we can always pay for them by cutting government an equivalent amount. At this point I'm at least as interested in seeing a spending freeze as more itty bitty tax cuts.
8 posted on 03/10/2004 7:32:32 PM PST by PianoMan (And now back to practicing)
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To: PianoMan
I'm not sure this is so bad - we can always pay for them by cutting government an equivalent amount. At this point I'm at least as interested in seeing a spending freeze as more itty bitty tax cuts.

You can't be serious! DemocRATS will NEVER allow spending cuts! Face it, the Republicans bent over and grabbed their ankles again!!

9 posted on 03/10/2004 7:37:28 PM PST by teletech (Friends don't let friends vote DemocRAT!)
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To: teletech
Republicans like these we DON'T NEED OR WANT!!

To put it simply, we don't want to need them but we do need them. When we don't need them any more, then we can get what we want. The way things ought to be ain't the way things are, and might not be the way they could or should be or might have been, because that's the way it is, so why complicate matters.

10 posted on 03/10/2004 7:38:30 PM PST by Consort
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To: PetroniDE
Senate procedural rules...don't
see how a veto would be possible.
The House must walk away from the
budget conference if this stands;
run the Gov. by Continuing Res. if
need be.
11 posted on 03/10/2004 7:45:45 PM PST by txrangerette
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Excuse me, I just returned from my cynics every other Tuesday tea and read this and thought those silly dems they can't do that we have the majority, so how can this be?

could it be that the GOP is the same as the Dems, interesting, absoulte power corrupts absolutely.

I was railed against when the fair tax story was posted when I said the washington types (on both sides of the isle) wouldn't go for it. I see no diff. they will not work for us they will work only to stay in power.

12 posted on 03/10/2004 7:46:11 PM PST by SERE_DOC ("9 out of the 10 voices in my head told me to go home & clean my weapons!")
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
The senate republicans suck. Why would you ever lock yourself into this deal when the future of the economy is unknown, and the behaivor of the democrats in the senate is well known.
13 posted on 03/10/2004 7:48:20 PM PST by conservativecorner
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
This is a FOOL's deal. The want to require a 60 votes to LOWER taxes but only a simple majority to RAISE taxes? This is a socialists' dream! If they House foes along with this, every person who voted for it OR SIGNS IT (President Bush), ought to be dragged out and hanged.
14 posted on 03/10/2004 7:56:19 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Lesee, the Republicans can't get their Judicial nominees approved by the Senate because of the background filibuster that the Dems are waging, using the 60 vote super majority rules required to break a filibuster. So, in a fit of incredible stupidity, they add to their misery by agreeing to this measure.

The more I observe the failures of the 2-party system, the less I see to support candidates from either one. There was a time when you knew what you were getting when you voted for a Democrat or a Republican. Today, the only difference is whether or not they have a (D) or an (R) behind their name - the politics are indistinguishable one from the other.
15 posted on 03/10/2004 8:04:20 PM PST by DustyMoment (Repeal CFR NOW!!)
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To: PetroniDE
Chafee
Collins
McCain
Snowe
16 posted on 03/10/2004 8:04:34 PM PST by So Cal Rocket (If consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, John F. Kerry’s mind must be freaking enormous)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Who are the freaking morons who voted for this....
17 posted on 03/10/2004 8:11:49 PM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: Tumbleweed_Connection
It's not a bad idea, I like it and maybe it will force some program cuts.
19 posted on 03/10/2004 8:19:31 PM PST by John Lenin (John Flip'n Kerry: Two Candidates for the price of one)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
What about 60 votes to RAISE spending, 67 votes to approve "new" spending, and 85 votes for PORK-BARREL spending? Of course, only 50 votes to lower spending, eliminate spending categories, or place new restrictions on spending! Hey, get a grip...it's the spending stupid! (and not the defense-and-security spending either!)
20 posted on 03/10/2004 8:49:07 PM PST by dufekin (Eliminate genocidal terrorist military dictator Kim Jong Il ASAP)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Its not over. If this anti-democratic language is NOT removed in conference, President Bush should veto the bill.
21 posted on 03/10/2004 11:11:54 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: PetroniDE; goldstategop
Goes to the House next. Hopefully it won't make it to Bush's desk.
22 posted on 03/11/2004 12:06:16 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection (www.whatyoucrave.com)
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
This is DOA. Even if it passes the House (very unlikely) and passes the conference committee round, President Bush would have to sign it. THAT WON'T HAPPEN.

His veto would not be over-written.

23 posted on 03/12/2004 5:50:55 AM PST by PetroniDE (Kitty Is My Master - I Do What She Says)
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