WASHINGTON-The House and Senate have passed the President’s Jobs and Growth Tax Package by near party line votes. In the Senate, Vice President Dick Cheney was called upon to place the deciding vote (51-50) on the tax package, with some Republicans defecting. On the House side the vote tallied 231-200, with former House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach (R-Iowa) being the only Republican congressman voting against the package. Just seven Democrats voted in favor of the tax legislation in the House. The package accelerates previous tax rate reductions, eliminates the so-called marriage penalty, increases the child tax credit from $600 to $1,000, and provides tax relief to small businesses. However, it does not contain provisions to expand Subchapter S filings, which the banks had been hoping for. Just prior to the passage of the tax package President George W. Bush said, “I look forward to signing the economic recovery bill soon. The principle of the bill is pretty simple, that we believe the more money people have in their pockets, the more likely it is somebody is going to be able to find work in America. In other words, the more money somebody has, it means somebody is more likely to demand a good or a service, which means somebody will produce a good or a service, which means somebody is likely to find work. “This bill I’m going to sign is good for American workers, it is good for American families, it is good for American investors, and it’s good for American entrepreneurs and small business owners.” Treasury Secretary John Snow agreed, “The agreement [between the House and Senate] will give the economy the boost it needs to grow and create jobs so that millions of Americans can be more secure and confident, both now and in the future.” -

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