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July 11, 2000
(House Rules)

H.R. 4810 - Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000
(Archer (R) Texas)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 4810. As the Administration's Fiscal 2001 Budget makes clear, the Administration supports targeted marriage penalty relief. The Administration supports the Democratic efforts in both the House and Senate that provide targeted marriage penalty relief. However, H.R. 4810, standing on its own, is insufficiently focused, with too small a share of benefits to lower- and middle-income taxpayers and too large a share devoted to couples who do not suffer marriage penalties. If this bill in its current form were presented to the President, the President's senior advisors would recommend that he veto it.

While this bill is not the Administration's preferred approach, the President is committed to moving forward cooperatively this year on marriage penalty relief and other important Administration priorities. If bipartisan agreement can be reached to take Medicare off budget and not use Medicare money for tax cuts or for other spending, and if Congress will pass a plan that gives real, voluntary Medicare prescription drug coverage, available and affordable to all seniors and consistent with the principles of the Administration's plan, the President will sign a marriage penalty relief law that is similar in scale.

Pay-As-You-Go Scoring

H.R. 4810 would affect receipts; therefore, it is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirements of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. The magnitude of the proposed tax cut ($2.8 billion in FY 2001, according to the Treasury Department) and the absence of any offsets could cause a significant sequester of Federal resources.