TAX CUT: Clinton Vetoes GOP Bill
President Clinton yesterday vetoed Congress' $792 billion tax cut plan, effectively diminishing chances that tax deductions for long term care insurance or health insurance for the self-employed will be enacted this year. "At a time when America is moving in the right direction, this bill would turn us back to the failed policies of the past," Clinton said, adding, "It is wrong for Medicare, wrong for Social Security, wrong for education and wrong for the economy." Both House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) said the long-promised veto sounds the end of tax cuts for this year. Lott said, "I regret the president has stolen this tax cut from working American families. But we will be back" (Deans, Cox News/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/24). Hastert said, "This Congress is not going to throw in the towel on tax relief," adding that it may happen "later, not sooner" (Sammon/Godfrey, Washington Times, 9/24). But even as the president made the veto, he urged Congress to "join him in forging a wide-ranging budget deal" including a smaller tax cut (Koffler/Norton, CongressDaily, 9/23). The Washington Post reports that the GOP now has two choices: "They can bargain with Clinton for a smaller tax cut package -- totaling perhaps $300 billion -- which they have called too stingy. Or they can risk being labeled a 'do-nothing' Congress and try to convince voters next year that the president and his fellow Democrats unwisely blocked major tax cuts when the economy was booming" (Pianin/Babington, 9/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.