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Texas Senator Hutchison Discusses Bush Tax Plan in CongressAired February 8, 2001 - 1:48 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: From coverage on Capitol Hill today, the controversy over the former president's action, to a certain amount of debate created by the current president's action -- that being Mr. Bush's plan, which reached Capitol Hill today, his plan for tax cuts.
CNN's Kate Snow is on Capitol Hill with a guest to talk about that -- Kate.
KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Joie.
President Bush's tax cut proposal arrived here a short time ago, a couple of hours ago. It was delivered by Secretary Paul O'Neill, the new treasury secretary. He delivered it to Republicans, Republicans embracing the idea of a tax cut, here on Capitol Hill, excited, they say, that they now have a partner in the White House to help them do this.
Joining me now, a Republican from the Senate side, Kay Hutchison from Texas -- thank you for joining us.
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: You bet.
SNOW: The speaker of the house, Dennis Hastert, said we haven't had an ally on Pennsylvania Avenue, in the White House, for some time. You've tried to pass a tax cut twice before, at least. Where do things stand right now -- are you going to get a tax cut, and how big will it be?
HUTCHISON: Yes we will, because I think everyone acknowledges now that we need a tax cut not only to relieve hard-working American families and let them keep more of the money they earn, but also to stimulate the economy. We don't want this recession to get deeper. And I think that the tax cut will give people the confidence that they can go out and spend money, and I think that we will pass it.
SNOW: On the House side, there is a lot of talk about Republicans potentially adding even more tax breaks to this package. On the Senate side, Senator Grassley has said he wants to limit it. Do you think that it will get bigger than $1.6 trillion?
HUTCHISON: Well, many people believe we should be closer to $2 trillion, because this surplus has increased since the original $1.6 trillion package was put forward by President Bush when he was campaigning. So we want to keep 25 to 30 percent of the surplus to give back to the people. This is income tax surplus; it doesn't count social security. We're talking about income tax surplus of about $3 trillion. So we need to give that money back to the people who earned it and also pay down the debt with that social security surplus.
SNOW: One last question: One of the things that Democrats say, though, is that there's not going to be enough left over for some of the priority spending that they see, like education. Will there be enough money for spending?
HUTCHISON: Absolutely -- that's the beauty of our plan. $1.6 trillion would be for tax relief, and then we would have hundreds of billions, if not close to a trillion, in increases in education, national defense -- which we know we need -- and most certainly, social security and Medicare reform for prescription drug benefits and options.
SNOW: We get into some very big numbers.
SNOW: Thank you very much, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison from Texas, joining us live.
They plan to send this possibly by the summer. They say that -- Republican leadership saying that -- they might have a tax cut as soon as July.
Back to you, Joie.
CHEN: On Capitol Hill -- by the way, Kate Snow's going to be with us after the break.
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