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Lott, Daschle differ over tax cuts

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Lott, left and Daschle  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The top Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate vowed Sunday to work together in the face of what could be an equal split between their parties, but the men outlined different plans for tax cuts next year.

GOP leaders support the $1.3 trillion tax cut over 10 years outlined by Republican George W. Bush, while Democrats endorse a more modest measure.

"You have to deal with the realities of where we are, and different times call for different procedures," said Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, on CBS' "Face The Nation." "We are going to work together. We are going to reach across the aisle."

Lott doesn't endorse co-chairs

Lott stopped short, however, of endorsing committee co-chairs, a proposal suggested by Democrats.

If Bush prevails in his bid for the presidency, the Senate would be split 50-50. As vice president, Dick Cheney could cast any tie-breaking votes.

If Democrat Al Gore wins the White House, Republicans would have a 51-49 edge. That's because Democratic running mate Joe Lieberman of Connecticut would give up his Senate seat and would be replaced by an appointee of the GOP governor.

Most observers expect that appointee would be a Republican.

"A one-vote margin would, I think, encourage chairmen to simply try to find unanimity on their side without reaching across the aisle," said Sen. Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, the minority leader in the Senate.

On the question of tax cuts, Daschle said the Senate would not go as far as Republicans want.

"While we are willing to work with them, I don't think that we'll ever go to the magnitude that George Bush has proposed," he said. "It would destroy the fiscal opportunities we have to retire the debt in the not too far distant future."

Lott, however, insisted, "There will be the money there to reach that goal." He predicted some Democrats would join the GOP tax-cutting effort next year.


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Sunday, December 10, 2000


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