Cheney: Bush to move quickly on schools, taxes

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President-elect George W. Bush will push Congress to act quickly on his conservative agenda, starting with education reform and school vouchers, Vice President-elect Dick Cheney said Sunday.

Meanwhile, Republican leaders in Congress are advising Bush to initiate his tax-cutting agenda with some attainable changes like repealing inheritance taxes and ending the so-called marriage penalty paid by two-earner couples.

Education reform likely will be Bush’s first proposal to Congress, and his plan will include offering vouchers to families in failing public schools, Cheney said.

Under Bush’s plan, public schools with large numbers of low-income children would be given three years to improve student test scores or risk losing federal funds to the voucher program.

But voucher plans have been defeated in the courts and in legislatures. Last week, a federal appeals court struck down Cleveland’s state-issued vouchers.

On other issues, Cheney said:

  • Bush will pursue his Social Security privatization plan, but that is a "tougher problem from a political standpoint" and will take longer to accomplish.

  • Bush will work with Sen. John Breaux, D-La., to overhaul the Medicare system and provide prescription drug coverage for seniors. Breaux and Bush discussed the issue Friday in Texas.

  • Bush will sign a ban on the late-term abortion procedure critics call partial-birth abortion. Such a prohibition, which President Clinton has vetoed, will pass the new Congress easily, said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss.

    Bush intends to pursue his "giant package" of tax cuts, but he will listen to Republican congressional leaders who think he said should break up the $1.3 trillion proposal into smaller parts that will be easier to pass, Cheney said on CBS’ "Face the Nation."

    Bush plans to meet with congressional leaders in Washington this week to try to start building support for his proposals.

    "I’ll tell them what I believe and I’ll listen to what they believe. And I’ll talk about what I intend to do, and they’ll talk about what they intend to do," Bush said Sunday at a news conference in Austin, Texas.

    "It’s the beginning of a dialogue that is crucial in order to get some positive things done, not only on tax relief, but on education reform and Social Security reform and Medicare reform, the need to strengthen the military."

    Many GOP leaders say it would be a mistake for Bush to immediately attempt to ram through his entire 10-year, $1.3 trillion tax cut given the 50-50 party split in the incoming Senate and the difficulty under any circumstances of maneuvering tax bills through Congress.

    Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew Card, said the president-elect’s ultimate goal of across-the-board tax relief remains unchanged but conceded "we may have to do it in separate steps."

    House Republicans took a similar piecemeal approach to tax cuts this year, winning passage with Democratic backing of bills to scrap estate or "death" taxes and ease the marriage penalty, only to see them vetoed by President Clinton.

    "It’s a little early in the process for people to be … making judgments on our plan before they’ve given me a chance to explain it," Bush said.

    Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said he could not "think of anything that would divide this nation more quickly right off the bat" than trying to sell Congress on a massive across-the-board tax cut.

    Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Talk to us

  • More in Local News

    NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
    No right turns on red gets a look, a bid to expand sports betting arrives

    It’s a new week. Here’s what’s happening on Day 22 of the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

    A man was injured and a woman found dead Sunday night after an RV fire in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)
    Woman dead, man burned in Marysville RV fire

    The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office and Marysville Police Department were investigating the cause of the fire.

    The final 747 is revealed during a celebration in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. The plane was rolled out Dec. 6 from the Everett assembly factory and delivered to the customer, Atlas Air. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
    ‘Still jaw-dropping’: Last Boeing 747 takes the stage in Everett

    Thousands, including actor John Travolta, gathered at Boeing’s Everett factory to bid goodbye to the “Queen of the Skies.”

    Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
    Lobbyist barred from WA Capitol after ruling he stalked representative

    State Rep. Lauren Davis, D-Shoreline, obtained a domestic violence protective order against longtime lobbyist Cody Arledge.

    (Lake Stevens School District)
    Charges dropped for Lake Stevens teacher accused of harassing student

    Prosecutors won’t pursue misdemeanor sexual assault charges against Mark Hein, who “has been absolved of wrongdoing,” his attorney said.

    Karla Wislon holds a champagne glass while celebrating the closing sale of her home in Palm Springs, Ca. on May 14, 2021. (Family photo)
    Former state Rep. Karla Wilson, 88, remembered as ‘smart, energetic’

    Wilson served the 39th Legislative district from 1985 to 1991. She died Dec. 31.

    Federal agents seized many pounds of meth and heroin, along with thousands of suspected fentanyl pills, at a 10-acre property east of Arlington in mid-December 2020. (U.S. Attorney’s Office) 20201223
    Leader of Snohomish County fentanyl, meth ring gets federal prison

    A search of Cesar Valdez-Sanudo’s property in Arlington unearthed kilos of drugs and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
    Port of Coupeville to make offer on Oak Harbor airport

    The Port of Coupeville continues to pursue ownership of the A.J. Eisenberg Airport near Oak Harbor.

    James Lewis
    COVID still ‘simmering’ in the county, while booster uptake remains low

    Meanwhile, flu and RSV cases have plummeted, suggesting the “tripledemic” could — emphasis on “could” — be fading.

    Most Read