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 Home > News & Policies > April 2003

Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer, April 23, 2003 (Full Transcript)

QUESTION: On the home front, the Senate GOP is beginning the early discussions on their tax bill, which -- a net of $350 billion. Does the White House have a preferred level of revenue raisers they'd like to see added to that bill that would allow you to extend, in effect, the overall size --

MR. FLEISCHER: No, I think -- the Congress is still on recess. And when they come back, I think they're going to focus in earnest, particularly at the Ways and Means and the Finance Committees, on exactly how they're going to craft the package. And keeping in mind that the House already has a $550-billion target, the Senate, a much smaller target. So we'll work with the committees, see what they come up with. There are all kinds of different ways to get what the President has proposed into the tax cut of $550 billion. And we'll see ultimately where that goes.


QUESTION: Ari, can I ask you to look ahead to the Ohio trip tomorrow? Is this a post-war re-launch, if you will, of the tax cut campaign? And, also, if this is not an attempt to twist George Voinovich's arm, then what is it?

MR. FLEISCHER: The President is going to travel to numerous states to make the case for his economic growth stimulus package and for the tax cut. The purpose of the President's travel to Ohio tomorrow is to talk to Ohio constituents, and people who live there, about the need to pass the tax cuts so they can have more growth in the economy. The President looks forward to talking to the people of Ohio about how to create jobs, not only in Ohio, but across the country. And he will, tomorrow, in his speech, call for congressional passage of the tax cut.

QUESTION: But it is not part of a lobbying campaign to bring him and the other GOP moderates on board?

MR. FLEISCHER: We've always said that the President is going to work to put together a majority, a majority from wherever it comes, from all 50 states that have senators. We want to work with everybody who can provide a vote for this package, where a vote is possible. And the President will not be shy about making his case.

QUESTION: Are you aware that a spokesman for Voinovich is quoted on the wire today as saying that the President does not have a snowball's chance in hell of getting him to change his position?

MR. FLEISCHER: The President will continue to make his case, and the President looks forward to talking to the Senator.