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Veto for GOP Tax Bill Ready

September 22, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ With a veto of the Republican tax cut all but official, the White House is criticizing Congress for ``running up to the deadline″ on approving appropriations bills before the end of the legislative session.

White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said Tuesday the public should be concerned that members of Congress are engaging in ``gimmicks and tricks″ over the budget process, while the majority of the 13 appropriations measures before lawmakers have not been approved.

Congress has passed just four of the 13 spending bills for the fiscal year 2000, which begins Oct. 1.

``Congress is once again running up to the deadline with very little of the work they’re charged to do having been done,″ Lockhart said. ``So I think the fact that we’re not getting a straightforward process, and that it is again this year well behind, is something that should be a concern to the public.″

President Clinton has already promised to veto the 10-year, $792 billion tax cut proposal that Republican leaders forwarded to him days ago. White House officials spent Tuesday trying to decide how Clinton would carry out the veto, which is expected this week.

The tax bill would use part of a projected 10-year budget surplus to reduce all federal income tax rates by 1 percentage point, cut capital gains taxes, phase out estate taxes and the alternative minimum tax and ease the ``marriage penalty″ paid by many two-income couples.

In a letter accompanying the legislation, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., urged Clinton to sign the bill to ``affirm the principles of smaller and smarter government.″

Clinton has contended the legislation would take away money that is needed to preserve Social Security and Medicare, and ensure adequate spending levels for education and defense programs.

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