The White House said yesterday President Carter has "no plans to submit a tax cut" proposal to Congress before the election, despite a stampede by Senate Democrats to bolt his hold-the-line position and draft a tax bill of their own.
The statement, by White House press secretary Jody Powell, came as the Senate, for the second time in five days, rejected a $36 billion on tax-cut plan proposed by GOP presidential candidate Ronald Reagan.
The party-line vote was 52 to 33.
Last night the Senate refused to make permanent a one-time fiscal 1981 change in federal pension practice that would give retired Civil Service workers their cost-of-living increase once a year instead of twice.
The Senate Budget Committee had proposed extending the change as part of a bill making the spending cuts required by the new congressional budget resolution. However, the move was rejected, 59 to 30.
Senators also voted to require unemployed workers seeking more than 26 weeks' worth of jobless benefits to agree in advance to accept the "first reasonable job offer" they receive.
In a late-night session, the chamber approved, 89 to 0, the entire budget "reconciliation" measure, the first time in the five-year-old budget process that Congress had enforced its initial budget-cut plan.
Meanwhile, a task force of Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.), began working last night to hammer out their own tax-cut proposal, which they plan to send to the floor by Sept. 3.
Although details are not set yet, sources say the plan almost certainly will include some proposal to offset scheduled Social Security tax increases next Jan. 1 and provide faster depreciation writeoffs for business.
Carter is scheduled to meet this morning with top Democratic congressinal leaders, and aides say he will appeal that they resist a tax bill this year and, if possible, postpone it until 1981.
Treasury Secretary G. William Miller told a television audience on Sunday that for all the edginess in the Senate over Reagan's tax-cut proposal, the administration still would prefer not to see a tax bill until 1981.
And Powell told reporters yesterday that "just because the Republicans have come forward with a clearly-not-well-thought-out policy is no reason the Democrats should follow suit."
The developments came as the White House, reacting to rising unemployment and the threat of racial riots, unveiled a $96.1 million spending program to create additional summer jobs in 31 hard-pressed cities.
The monies, almost entirely rechanneled from funds left unspent in other programs, will go to create 20,267 summer jobs for youths between now and October and 11,712 new job slots for adults.
Besides the summer youth programs, the money will finance added public works improvement projects, programs to rehabilitate federal housing and new summer head-start slots.
The White House also announced it will accelerate spending for modernization of public housing and for health services grants to create an additional 4,400 to 5,000 jobs.
The District of Columbia would receive $4.3 million under the plan to finance 1,679 new job slots -- 1,067 of them for youths. Washington also would receive $11.9 million in speeded-up housing and health spending.
Yesterday's steps by the administration continued the new White House counteroffensive begun Sunday by Secretary Miller against the new Reagan tax-cut initiative.
The White House had been taken aback both by Reagan's surprise announcement last week and by the hair-trigger reaction by Senate Democrats, who -- jittery over Reagan's proposal -- agreed within 24 hours to draft a tax bill of their own.
Carter has argued repeatedly that Congress should put off any tax-cut legislation until early in 1981 and move first to restrain federal spending and wind down inflationary expectations.
White House officials fear that if Carter accedes to the Senate's demands, it could revive inflationary psychology throughout the economy and reinforce the public's image of the president as frequently "flip-flopping" on policy.
Both the White House and Senate Democratic leaders began flaying the Reagan plan yesterday, with Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) calling it "trickle-down, make-the-rich-richer" economics that "dumps bushels of money into the economy."
And Powell, speaking from the White House podium, said the Reagan plan "has so many holes in it, it's hard to hold up with two hands." Reagan has proposed a 10 percent across-the-board tax-cut with faster depreciation writeoffs.