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Democrat Zell Miller to co-sponsor Bush tax cut

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Zell Miller, D-Georgia, will co-sponsor in the Senate President Bush's 10-year, $1.3 trillion tax cut, Miller's chief of staff said Sunday.

The other co-sponsor is Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas. Gramm and Miller plan to hold a news conference Monday afternoon to announce their co-sponsorship of the plan.

Miller's support for Bush's tax cut is not shared by many Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, has said the country can't afford the tax package. "Whether it's divided in pieces or offered in its entirety, I think the key question is what is the entire package cost. We can't afford a $1.6 trillion tax cut and we don't have the resources for that," Daschle said Sunday.

Some have said the actual cost of the Bush tax cut is not $1.3 trillion but, as Daschle said, $1.6 trillion.

Democrats agree Congress should pass a tax cut, but that it needs to be smaller. Bush's plan, they say, would eat up all of the surplus and then some.

Bush has argued that the faltering economy would benefit from his tax-cut plan.

Andrew Card, White House chief of staff, said the president will push for the entire tax-cut plan, not a scaled-back version.

Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," Card said: "I'm thrilled if Sen. Gramm has found a Democratic co-sponsor. We expect a lot of Democrats to support our plan because it's the right thing for America."

This isn't the first time Miller -- who was appointed to replace the late Paul Coverdell in the Senate -- has stepped out front on an issue. Miller was the first Democrat to put out a statement saying he would vote for President Bush's controversial nominee for attorney general, former Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Mo. Miller knows President Bush because both served as governors of their states.


Sunday, January 21, 2001



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