Conservatives Angry At Clinton's Veto
Of Death Tax Elimination Act

By Jim Burns
CNS Senior Staff Writer

( - Many conservatives reacted angrily to President Clinton's veto of the "Death Tax Elimination Act" Thursday. Many House Republicans threaten to override the President's veto when lawmakers return to Washington next week.

Representative Jennifer Dunn (R-WA), who authored the bill in the House, was "disappointed" at the President's veto.

"This is not a Democrat or Republican issue; this is a fair issue. It is time for President Clinton and Vice President Gore to stop saying no to restoring fairness to the tax code. It's a shame the Administration couldn't put progress ahead of partisanship and bury the death tax once and for all," Dunn said in a statement.

"Next week, the House will vote to override the veto," Dunn said. "I will lead the charge to ensure that death tax repeal legislation is enacted into law, whether it is by a veto override vote or signed into law by our next President, George W Bush," Dunn said.

House Republican Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) said Clinton's veto, "signaled to the American people that dying is a taxable offense. The Clinton-Gore answer to eliminating the death tax: live forever. Next week, the US House of Representatives is tentatively scheduled to vote to override the President's death tax veto."

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) was even harsher in his criticism of Clinton's action.

"The President's veto of the landmark bill repealing the estate tax only illustrates one more reason why the American people are rejecting the liberal tax and spend Clinton-Gore administration. Plain and simple, the Clinton-Gore philosophy is one of higher taxes and bigger government. It is past time for new leadership in Washington," Inhofe said.

Republican Presidential Candidate George W Bush believe Clinton's veto shows Vice President Al Gore's "weak leadership."

"Al Gore has shown weak leadership by standing by while his administration vetoed a bill that would help so many hard working Americans and their families. Al Gore says he wants to give selected tax cuts to the right people, but I guess farm families and small business owners just aren't the right people for him," Bush's Press Secretary Mindy Tucker said in a statement.

Tucker also said, if Bush were President, he would have signed the Death Tax Elimination Act into law.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) called Clinton's veto, "a stab in the heart of America's small business owners."

NFIB President Jack Faris said in a statement, "President Clinton blatantly ignored the united cries of small, family-owned businesses to put an end to this punitive, unfair tax. Sadly, this administration allowed election year partisanship to stand in the way of common sense legislation. Today, the losers are the millions of small family ranchers, farmers and business owners who are most hurt by this anti-American tax."

The 60 Plus Association, a senior citizens lobbying group, was angry at Clinton's veto as well.

"The President's argument that it's a tax cut and windfall for the wealthy is the biggest con job in a town where con jobs are a daily occurrence. This is the biggest con job of all," said Jim Martin, President of 60 Plus Association.

Martin is not optimistic that Congress will override Clinton's veto.

"If they've got any backbone, they will (override the veto). But I'm afraid there's a bunch of Democrats that will backslide and say they don't want to see their "president" embarrassed by a veto. But I'm hoping they (Democrats) will stand firm because it passed by enough of a margin to override a veto," Martin said.

65 House Democrats and 9 Senate Democrats voted to repeal the estate tax. The entire congressional delegation from Vice President Gore's home state of Tennessee, including the Democratic National Convention Keynote Speaker, Congressman Harold Ford, Junior, voted to repeal the tax.


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