August 02,1999

Roth Statement at Joint Conference Meeting

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today met with Ways & Means Chairman Bill Archer (R-TX), and the conferees to discuss the House and Senate tax relief bills. The following is the opening statement of Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE):

"The historic importance of this conference should not escape us. Both the Senate and the House tax relief proposals carry strong provisions that will provide real relief to American families.

"I want to compliment the House -- particularly Chairman Archer -- for their work. The bold initiative they put forward, along with the Taxpayer Refund Act that passed in the Senate, makes it clear that there is strong consensus between the two bodies that Congress must seize this opportunity to return the budget surplus to the taxpayer.

"It's my firm belief that we can build on this consensus in this conference and move expeditiously toward an agreement. The issues that unite us far exceed any differences that might divide us. This is because the catalyst for our work is the same. And that catalyst is the well-being of all families, the need to provide them with the most meaningful tax relief possible -- to do it in a way that families can meet their individual needs.

"It's not right, in a time of budget surpluses, that our taxes are the highest percent of our Gross National Product than at any other time in post-war history. Taxes must be cut; the surplus must be returned. And I believe this can be done in a way that increases access to health care, makes education more affordable, helps taxpayers prepare for self-reliance and retirement, and keeps home, farm, and family businesses safe from death taxes.

"These are widely shared objectives -- objectives that are addressed in both the House and Senate legislation. Now, the duty we have here -- in this conference -- is to craft an agreement that can move these objectives forward, putting a tax relief bill before the President of the United States that resonates with Americans everywhere."