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Vice President Speaks After Senate Republican Luncheon

Aired July 10, 2001 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

RICHARD CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... president's tax cut that was approved by the Congress has been the best time -- dose of fiscal medicine the economy has ever received. The tax rebates that are now going, the $300, $500 and $600 checks to the individuals and families all across America is going to be absolutely vital in sustaining the level of activity of real economic growth and avoiding a much-worse downturn than would have otherwise occurred if we hadn't passed the tax cut.

So, if, in fact, the tax cut had not passed, some seem now to be suggesting on the other side, the fact of the matter is the level of economic activity would be lower, and the amount of government revenue would be lower, the size of surplus would be lower, and the overall set of circumstances we're faced with would be much more difficult.

So, one of the things I did today was remind everybody that the tax cut has been absolutely key to having good, sound economic policy going forward, and the reason we're not going to have more pain than would have otherwise is because of the timing and wisdom of going forward with that tax cut when we did.

QUESTION: Mr. Vice President, you said your message about spending, though?

CHENEY: No, I talked specifically about the tax cut. I said the spending concerns now, as we move into the appropriations process, we're begin to hear this debate. I wanted to remind everybody of the value of the tax cut in terms of avoiding a worse downturn than would have otherwise occurred.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Mr. Vice President, can you comment on the story that was in "The Washington Post" this morning about the Salvation Army and can you clarify the White House position on that?

CHENEY: I don't know anything about the specific story that was in there this morning on "The Post," I just glanced at the headline. As a general proposition, a key part of the president's faith-based initiative is to make certain that in order to acquire or to participate in providing these social services with government funds, we not require fundamental changes in the underlying principles and organized and doctrines, if you will, of the organizations that participate, and that's been a consistent policy throughout.

It's not intended to discriminate against anybody. We do, in fact, ratify all the civil right provisions that are existent in the code in the legislation in H.R.-7 that's now pending before the House and hopefully will pass the Senate later on. So, I -- beyond that, I wouldn't get into specific details for "The Post" story.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Mr. Vice President, how urgent is the supplemental that the Senate is considering today? How soon does it need to get to the president's desk to get the tax checks out and to the Department of Defense?

CHENEY: The supplemental is important from the standpoint of having asked only for those things that are absolutely essential. We generally oppose the notion of a supplemental long term, but found that it was necessary to go forward with that, partly because the last administration had budgeted in such a way that it really left us no choice, especially in the defense area.

We think it's an important piece of legislation. The president would like very much to sign it as quickly as possible, and hopefully that will occur within the next week or two. We think it's vital to get out now.

(CROSSTALK)

CHENEY: Thank you, all very much.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Comments from the vice president after a luncheon with Senate Republicans. He went there to boost the talk of the tax cut and its relevance to the economy. The vice president saying, we are not worse off in the economy because of the tax cut and many Americans will be seeing their checks arriving in the mail apparently this summer.

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