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Senior Republicans Line Up Behind $1.3 Trillion Tax Package

Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

18 December 2000


Following Thursday's report that US House Speaker Dennis J Hastert preferred a smaller tax-cutting package than George Bush, Ari Fleischer, Mr. Bush's press secretary, said he called Mr. Hastert's staff this morning on Friday to check - and later on the Speaker confirmed he supported the President-elect's across-the-board tax cut although he would prefer to start by passing smaller cuts piecemeal on the House floor.

Dennis Hastert's press secretary, John P. Feehery, said "there was some miscommunication" on Thursday at the Speaker's news conference.

"I support across-the-board tax relief because I believe it is one of the fairest ways to cut taxes," Mr. Hastert said. "I also believe that across-the-board tax relief may help the economy avoid a recession."

"Because we had such success in passing bipartisan measures to end the marriage penalty and the death tax in this session of Congress, I believe that these two bills could quickly be enacted in the law at the beginning of next year," Mr. Hastert added. "That is why I advocate that we start with these two bills in the 107th Congress."

President-elect Bush reiterated on Friday his hope that the $1.3 trillion tax package would become law and expressed optimism that that would occur.

"I haven't had a chance to talk to the speaker yet," Mr. Bush said at a news conference on Friday. "But what I found to be positive is the speaker was recognizing that we need some tax relief. And I have made it clear to the speaker once before that, you know, I campaigned on a package that I thought was fair and fiscally sound and responsible, and I strongly believe that."

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