May 13,2003


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Before we begin with the mark- up tonight, I wouldlike to take a moment to honor our late colleague, Senator Russell Long. I was honoredto have the chance to attend his funeral services today and to ext end my condolences tohis family in person.

As former Chairman of this Committee, Senator Long leaves behind a powerfuland influentia l legacy. His personality and wit, along with his interest and knowledge ofthe intricacies of the tax code was admirable. It was an honor to have served for nearlyten of the 36 years that Senator Long was a member of the Senate. His contributions tothis Committee and to the Congress as a whole will continue to resonate for decades tocome.

I would now like to move to the reason we are here tonight. Unfortunately,because of the way that the Committee reported this bill last week, we ran into proceduralproblems. And that requires us to deal with the bill again.

The Majority wants to use fast-track procedures — called reconciliation — forthis tax bill. If Senators seek to utilize these special procedures, they must scrupulouslyfollow the rules.

Many in the Senate believe that the use of reconciliation for actions that increasethe deficit is an inappropriate use of the process. That is all the more reason for us toensure that the Committee scrupulously adheres to the rules. The Senate must follow itsrules. Especially when we are considering an expedited bill.

As the Committee will report the same bill today that it reported last week, I hopemy Colleagues will not offer amendments. The Committee has expressed its will on thisbill. There is no need for us to air again all of the same disputes.