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GOP Tax Plan Unites Democrats

The top four potential Democratic New York City mayoral contenders including one of the Big Apple's top Puerto Rican officials, appeared Wednesday with Hillary Rodham Clinton to denounce a proposed Republican tax cut.

They said the proposal would devastate federal funding for schools.

Clinton, eyeing a race for the Democratic Senate nomination from New York, and Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer stood shoulder to shoulder during the news conference. It was an apparent symbol of her desire to mend fences with the Puerto Rican community. The first lady angered many Puerto Ricans by opposing the clemency granted by President Clinton to a group of FALN activists.

Also present were Public Advocate Mark Green, City Comptroller Alan Hevesi and City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, all likely rivals in the next mayoral election in 2001.

"The kind of unity you see before you, among all of us, is because we know what's at stake, and the federal budget has a direct impact on what happens here in the city and the state," Clinton said.

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who is exploring a run for the Republican Senate nomination, supports using the federal budget surplus for targeted tax cuts and targeted spending.

Republicans think the $800 billion federal budget surplus should go back to the taxpayers. President Clinton has said he will veto the proposal altogether arguing the extra funds should be used to save Social Security and shore up Medicare.

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