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February 8, 2000
(House Rules)

H.R. 6 - Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Act of 2000
(Weller (R) Illinois and 236 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 6. If a tax bill of this magnitude were presented to the President before a proper framework for paying down debt, strengthening Social Security and Medicare, providing tax relief to middle-income families, and funding critical initiatives has been established, the President's senior advisors would not recommend that he sign it.

Last week, the President and the bipartisan Congressional leadership expressed a common interest in working together to pay down the debt, strengthen Social Security and Medicare, provide tax relief to middle-income families, and fund critical initiatives. Achieving these objectives is central to the continued strength of our national economy. As the President's budget makes clear, the Administration supports targeted marriage penalty relief. But marriage penalty relief needs to be done in the right way, at the right time, and in the right framework. Proceeding on one expensive part of the legislative agenda before the others are even defined simply does not make sound fiscal policy.

Pay-As-You-Go Scoring

H.R. 6 would affect receipts; therefore, it is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirements of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. The Administration has not yet completed its scoring of the bill, but it is evident that the magnitude of the proposed tax cut ($4 billion in FY 2001, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation) and the absence of any offsets could cause a significant sequester of Federal resources.