June 24,2004

Grassley, Baucus on House Leaders' Attacks on the Highway Bill


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Response to House leaders’ attacks on the highway bill
Da: Thursday, June 24, 2004

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, and Sen. Max Baucus, rankingmember, made the following comment on attacks on the Senate highway bill.

“Mr. DeLay’s statements unfairly portray anti-tax shelter and anti-fraud provisions in thehighway bill as ‘tax increases.’ Letting these abuses go unchecked means law-abiding taxpayers willcontinue to pay their share while others get off scot-free. Additionally, the majority leader just votedyes on the House version of FSC/ETI repeal, which contains billions of dollars of identical orsubstantially similar loophole closers. It doesn’t make sense that he’d characterize the provisionshe just voted for as ‘tax increases.’

“Mr. DeLay and 356 other House members also supported most of the things he refers to as‘phony math.’ The provisions referred to as ‘phony math’ actually ensure the integrity of the trustfund. The members voted for most of these provisions as part of the House highway bill.

“Let’s look at the bottom line. The House highway bill provides an insufficient level offunding for the surface transportation program and contributes $10 billion more to the deficit thanthe Senate bill. If some members want to talk about robbing programs, they should consider theimpact of additional deficit spending.”