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Patty Davis: Bipartisan support for Bush tax cut plan

Patty Davis  

CNN Correspondent Patty Davis has learned that Georgia Sen. Zell Miller, a Democrat, will join Monday with Republican Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas to co-sponsor President Bush's 10-year, $1.3 trillion tax cut proposal.

Q : Considering that some Democratic leaders oppose the Bush plan, support from Sen. Miller appears to be a boost for the new president.

Davis: Yes. Democratic support for his tax cut is something the president is having trouble coming by these days. Sens. Miller and Gramm plan to announce their co-sponsorship at a news conference to be held Monday at 1 p.m. (EST) at the Capitol.

Q : Why do other Democrats oppose the Bush tax cut plan?

Davis: Many Democrats in Congress say that, indeed, a tax cut should be passed -- that the economy could benefit from it. But they think it should be smaller. The Bush plan, they argue, would eat up the entire budget surplus, and then some.

Even so, House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt has said in recent weeks that with the economy slowing, Democrats might support a tax cut even bigger than the one Al Gore proposed during the presidential campaign.

Still, Gephardt doesn't favor a cut as big as Bush's proposal. So, with Congress almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, Democrats could certainly put obstacles in the way of any legislation they don't like. Bush will need Democratic support if his tax cut plan is to pass.

Q : Why is Miller bucking Democratic Party leadership?

Davis: Miller has shown that he has an independent streak. He was the first Democrat to announce he would vote to confirm John Ashcroft, who is Bush's controversial nominee for attorney general. On fiscal issues, Miller -- a former governor of Georgia -- is a conservative. Overall, he is a moderate.


Sunday, January 21, 2001



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