March 08,2001

Grassley Comments on Tax Debate in the Senate

There’s a lot of talk about how quickly the House is moving on the tax bill and the contrastwith the Senate. Well, consider this. Tax legislation flows like a river. It starts in the House, whereit’s like a river in the mountains, swift-moving and even a little rough. As it reaches the Senatedownstream that river moves a lot slower, and calmer.

So here’s a report on the status of that tax debate in the Senate. Even though tax cuts willtake a bit longer to wind through this side of the Capitol, taxpayers should know that help is on theway. Before spring gives way to summer, I’m confident tax dollars will be flowing back to wherethey belong, with the taxpayers.

In the Finance Committee, we’re holding hearings on the President’s plan and otherproposals. Yesterday we looked at the need to reduce marginal tax rates. Individual taxpayers builtthe tax surplus, and cutting rates will stimulate the economy by changing the mind-set of consumers,investors, and employers. This morning we looked at the need for family tax relief, including thePresident’s plan to double the child tax credit and reduce the marriage penalty. We also focused onthe alternative minimum tax and its growing burden on middle-income families. Next week, we’llexplore tax breaks for charitable giving and repeal of the death tax. We’ve already looked at taxincentives for education, and in the weeks ahead we’ll consider energy tax bills. Our plan is to finishthese hearings and mark-up a tax bill in May.

Alongside this committee work, the House vote today is good news for taxpayers. There’sa new attitude in Washington. President Bush made tax relief and debt reduction a cornerstone ofhis agenda, along with funding America’s priorities for education, Social Security, Medicare, andthe environment. Non-partisan budget forecasts underscore the need to reduce the tax burden onAmericans. Their hard work and productivity account for the swelling surpluses in the federalTreasury. And the momentum marked by today’s vote gives those taxpayers a reason to rejoice. Inthe Senate, our legislative strategy is necessarily different. But our interest in reducing the taxburden for American families is the same.

I look forward to continuing my work with the White House, and with Sen. Baucus and otherDemocratic senators to build support for a bipartisan tax cut package in the Senate.