President Clinton Urges Congress to Work Day and Night to Finish its Work for American Families (10/27/00)

President Clinton Urges Congress to Work Day and Night to Finish its Work For American Families
October 27, 2000

Today, President Clinton will again urge Congress to come together in a bipartisan process and pass a tax bill he can sign. Nearly one month past the end of the fiscal year, Congress has passed seven extensions but still has not completed a budget. On almost half of the 27 days since this fiscal year began, Congress has failed to do any work for the American people. President Clinton is now granting additional extensions one day at a time to ensure that Congress stays in town and completes its business, passing a tax bill for middle-class families, finishing a fiscally responsible budget that invests in education, and enacting other national priorities.

PRESIDENT CLINTON IS WORKING TO FIND BIPARTISAN COMMON GROUND ON TAX RELIEF FOR MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES AND WILL URGE CONGRESS TO BEGIN BIPARTISAN NEGOTIATIONS. On Wednesday, President Clinton offered Speaker Hastert and Majority Leader Lott a tax package thatóin recognition of the reality that both sides must compromise to reach an agreementóreflected the priorities of both parties. But yesterday, in a largely partisan vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a tax bill that ignores key priorities for America. Despite President Clinton's efforts to find compromise, the Republicans package falls short. First, the Republican school construction provisions fall far short of both the great national need for school modernization and the help that would be provided by the bipartisan Johnson-Rangel proposal. They would sacrifice thousands of modernized schools to pay for inefficient tax incentives that help only a few. Second, although President Clinton's proposal included both Democratic and Republican priorities on health care, the Republican bill completely ignores the President's proposal to cover millions of uninsured working Americans; includes only half of the benefits of his long-term care tax credit; and excludes the bipartisan credit for vaccine research and purchases. Finally, it makes virtually no attempt to address the Administration's concerns about the pension provisions by failing to address the lack of pension coverage for over 70 million people and potentially creating new incentives for employers to drop pension coverage.

THE REPUBLICAN TAX BILL ALSO IGNORES CRITICAL MEDICARE/MEDICAID PRIORITIES. The Republican legislation insists on an unjustifiable spending increase for HMOs at the same time it excludes bipartisan policies such as health insurance options for children with disabilities, legal immigrant pregnant women and children, simplifying eligibility and enrollment in Medicaid and SCHIP, and needed payment increases to hospitals, academic health centers, home health agencies, and other vulnerable providers. President Clinton will insist that Congress not go home before responding to the urgent health needs of our seniors, people with disabilities, and children and the health care providers who serve them.

IN ADDITION, PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL CALL ON CONGRESS TO FINISH THE BUDGET NOW, INVEST IN EDUCATION, AND ACT ON THE REST OF AMERICA'S UNFINISHED BUSINESS. Before leaving town, Congress should:


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