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Senate Votes to Expand Child Tax Credit
Aired June 5, 2003 - 20:28 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: A big victory for Democrats in the Republican controlled Senate.
Now the Senate overwhelmingly voted to give 6.5 million low- income families an increased child tax credit, which is something they hadn't gotten under their tax cut bill that was passed just last week.
CNN Congressional correspondent Kate Snow reports.
KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the kids that drove the politics. Parents of lower-income children weren't going to get a tax credit. Parents with higher incomes were. How, asked the Democrats over and over -- how could that probably be fair?
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: But across the board, this administration is waging war on poor children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)
NARRATOR: Two children. Could you pick one over the other? Is one more special than the other?
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SNOW: TV ads were to start running Friday.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: We are determined to make this issue too hot for the Republicans to handle.
SNOW: And it was. Senate Republicans felt the heat and found the way out.
SEN. JOHN WARNER (R), VIRGINIA: I'm not here to in any way suggest what went right, what went wrong. My understanding is it's a reconciliation of viewpoints now.
SNOW: The fix sends $400 checks to the families of 12 million children who make between about $11,000 and $27,000 a year, including about 1 million children of military parents or veterans. Another change would make sure married and single parents are treated equally.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ayes are 94, the nays are 2. The amendment is agreed to. SNOW: All but two Republicans in the Senate went for the change. Conservatives in the House will too, and then some. If Democrats insist on adding spending to a tax bill they once said was too big, Republicans say they'll push for even more.
REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: I just remind the members of this House that we have now almost a trillion dollars left in the budget to do more tax relief for the American people. And you know what? We're coming back.
SNOW: And so instead of just changing the child tax credit provision to cover all those lower income families, House Republicans say they're going to try to make this whole thing permanent, make that child tax credit change more permanent. Anderson, a bill costing 10 times as much as what passed in the Senate today -- Anderson.
COOPER: This has become obviously very politicized. There are a lot of people who say, Look, some of the people now included in this aren't even people who are paying taxes originally. So you're getting a tax credit for not paying taxes. How does that work out?
SNOW: That's exactly what Republicans have been saying, Anderson. They say, Look, we did a lot for working families in our original bill and, they say, a lot of these families, most of these families, don't have any income tax that they pay the federal government. So why should we essentially be giving them, you know -- spending even more money to give them an extra credit.
Democrats, of course, see it completely differently. Philosophically, they say, these folks deserve a break too. And today they passed it in the Senate -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. They found some middle ground, I guess. Thanks very much, Kate Snow. Appreciate it.
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