GOPer: Tax Veto Can Be Overridden

Saturday, August 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican congressman appealed to fellow legislators Saturday for bipartisan cooperation to overturn President Clinton's expected veto of legislation to eliminate the inheritance tax.

``Democrats and Republicans alike know that the death tax is unfair to family farmers and unfair to small businesspeople of every kind,'' Rep. Jay Dickey, R-Ark., said in the Republicans' weekly radio address.

The estate tax repeal will cost the government $104 billion over 10 years. Clinton has promised to veto the legislation, probably next month.

Clinton has said the package of tax cuts the Republican-controlled Congress passed this year would all but consume the nation's projected budget surpluses outside the Social Security Trust Fund, leaving nothing for ``other national priorities.''

Dickey said farmers' surviving children are taxed unfairly because of the worth of their land, and small business owners are hurt trying to leave legacies to their children.

He said the tax also hurts the high-tech economy.

``Many of these brilliant folks started out playing with ideas in their garages, with few resources to invest,'' he said. ``Now they've created something they can pass on to their children, so they can live in greater comfort. The government shouldn't punish success.''

The Senate vote of 59-39 was well short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto, but Dickey said ``we intend'' to challenge a Clinton rejection of the bill. In the House, 65 Democrats jumped ship to help Republicans win a 279-136 vote for repeal of the tax by 2010. It would take 290 votes in the House to override a veto if all 435 members voted, or just over half the 20 who did not vote this month.