June 12,2000

Commitee To Mark Up Health, Trade and Tax Bills

Bill to Repeal Telephone Tax Added to Mark Up Agenda

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Finance Committee will meet Wednesday, June 14 to mark up three bills: S. 662, The Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act; a resolution urging the President to initiate negotiations over the issue of foreign sales corporations at the July 20 meeting of the G-8 nations in Okinawa; and H.R. 3916, a bill to repeal of the Federal communications excise tax. The mark up will take place at 10:00 am in room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.


The Breast and Cervical Treatment Act would create an optional new Medicaid eligibility category for low income women who receive a diagnosis of breast or cervical cancer through a federal screening program.

The Foreign Sales Corporation resolution expresses the sense of the Senate that the President should initiate negotiations with the members of the European Union to resolve the current dispute regarding the Foreign Sales Corporation provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and to modify World Trade Organization rules governing the border adjustability of taxes in order to ensure that such rules do not place United States exporters at a competitive disadvantage. The Foreign Sales Corporation provisions in the internal revenue code were created in 1984 to equalize tax rate treatment of the worldwide income of U.S. corporations with that of European corporations. In 1997, the EU initiated a formal protest with the WTO against the FSC regime, arguing that it was an illegal export subsidy. In October 1999, the WTO Dispute Settlement Panel ruled in favor of the EU and held that the current FSC regime must be repealed or the U.S. would be subject to trade sanctions. A compliance deadline of October 1, 2000 was set. In February 2000, the Dispute Settlement Panel's ruling and compliance date were upheld by the WTO Appellate Body. The EU this month also rejected a proposed FSC replacement regime submitted by the U.S. Treasury. Roth's resolution urges President Clinton to initiate negotiations with EU leaders at the G-8 meeting in Okinawa on July 20 in an effort to resolve the issue and ensure fair trading treatment of U.S. corporations.

The repeal of the Federal communications excise tax would repeal the three percent telephone excise tax, originally imposed in 1898 as a luxury tax on phone service. The House approved a bill repealing the Federal phone tax on May 25 by a vote of 420 to 2.