Excerpts from Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer, September 20 (Full transcript)
QUESTION: Okay. And on another topic, given also that the economy is still sluggish, why hasn't the President proposed these tax cuts that he has talked about? And apparently he's not going to do that. Isn't he -- given that he thinks that tax cuts would stimulate the economy, isn't he being remiss is not at least putting them forward?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, there are many tax cuts that the President has proposed that remain pending on Capitol Hill. And the President reserves the option of proposing additional ones. But certainly judging by what Congress has done, the Senate, for example, has failed to take action on a number of the tax relief proposals and other stimulative proposals the President has made that he hopes will bring additional strength to the economy.
But he will continue to work with the Congress and hope that something can get done.
QUESTION: He's not worried that those tax cuts, if he does propose them, could prove politically unpopular for Republicans?
MR. FLEISCHER: No. No, the President thinks that
QUESTION: Because they would
MR. FLEISCHER: There are a number of items that are pending in Congress that can bring help to people -- not only to help stimulate the economy, but to help protect people's pensions, for example. That's another issue where the Senate has not yet acted, where the House has. The President was glad the Congress passed trade promotion authority, which can help create jobs. But terrorism insurance is another issue that is pending in the Congress, where jobs can be created in an immediate sense if the Senate and the House can get together and pass terrorism insurance.
So there remains a number of items that are economically important to the country, and the President hopes Congress can get those done. Congress does not have a lot of time left; they are getting ready to leave, and leave for good.