Monday, April 28, 2003

Voinovich won't give on Bush tax cuts



The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - One of the Senate's moderate Republicans who is blocking President Bush's tax cut plan said Sunday he will stand his ground and resist White House pressure to vote more than a $350 billion reduction.

Asked if he would not go even a penny higher, Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio replied: "You got it. And anybody that knows George Voinovich knows that when I say something I mean it."

Bush had asked Congress for $726 billion in cuts over 10 years.

The House capped new tax relief at $550 billion, while the Senate agreed to cuts of no more than $350 billion. The White House has scaled back its expectations, saying at least $550 billion is now the president's goal.

That amount, Voinovich said, would be fiscally irresponsible.

"Instead of dillying around between $350 billion and $550 billion, let's do the $350 billion and let's get it done," Voinovich told NBC's Meet the Press.

Voinovich and Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, reached a deal with Senate leaders on the $350 billion limit to the cuts.

Bush, in his radio address Saturday, took on lawmakers who are refusing to accept the amount the president says is necessary for the economy.

During a visit last week to Ohio, Bush renewed his campaign for the bigger tax cuts. Voinovich said Bush's trip could backfire with Ohio voters, who support the lower tax cut.

"I think the timing of it made it look bad, in terms of his trying to put some pressure on me," Voinovich said. "I don't believe that's what he had in mind, but it certainly has been interpreted that way in our state."

BRONSON: Senator Skinflint




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