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GOP Leaders Push Tax Cuts at 'Town Hall Meeting'

The Budget

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  • Congress Approves $1.7 Trillion GOP Budget (Washington Post, March 26)

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  • By Juliet Eilperin
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, April 13, 1999; Page A12

    FREDERICKSBURG, Va., April 12& #150; House and Senate GOP leaders staged a national "town hall meeting" here today in a bid to briefly shift attention from the war in Kosovo to their tax reform proposals.

    Joined by Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R) and roughly 250 Republican activists, the congressional leaders focused their remarks on how to convert a portion of the current budget surplus into lower taxes on everything from capital gains to a family's inheritance.

    "We want you to be able to keep more of your money," declared Senate Majority Whip Don Nickles (Okla.). "The power to tax is the power to destroy."

    Nickles was accompanied by House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (Tex.), Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.) and Sen. John W. Warner (Va.).

    The House GOP leadership had planned to devote part of last week to publicizing its balanced-budget resolution, but scrapped the five-city tour in light of the Kosovo hostilities.

    With the deadline for filing taxes three days away, both lawmakers and audience members questioned why citizens are taxed as many as three times on some parts of their income.

    While the GOP leaders outlined a range of tax cuts, Warner cautioned against "divisions between the bodies" over how to reduce taxes and urged his colleagues to craft "one, good tax bill."

    Some activists, however, said the most immediate obstacle to tax cuts could come if ground troops are sent to Kosovo. "It would be a quagmire of funds and lives, and I pray this doesn't happen," said Nick Kennedy, a resident of Falmouth, Va.

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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