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House To Vote On Tax Cut

The House is expected to vote on a massive tax cut proposal Wednesday.

CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent Bob Fuss reported that Democratic opposition is expected, but the problem for GOP leaders on their tax cut bill comes from moderates within their own party, such as Congressman Ray LaHood of Illinois who told CBS Radio News that he'll vote "no."

"To put all of this money for a tax cut and then not have any of it going to debt reduction just doesn't make any sense," LaHood said.

"Common ordinary citizens know we have a huge debt and we ought to be putting some of the money towards that," he added. "This is a huge tax cut with little or no attention to the deficit and that's really, I think, the major heartburn that's created for a lot of people."

LaHood scoffed at the idea of basing the tax cut on 10-year projections. "Most of us don't know what's going to happen in the next 10 minutes, let alone the next 10 years," he told CBS Radio News. "It's silly."

Oklahoma Republican J.C. Watts said, however, the leadership plan for a 10 percent across-the-board income tax cut and reductions in capital gains and estate taxes is the right one. The plan also includes relief for two-income married couples.

"We've got an opportunity to do something really significant for American taxpayers," Watt said.

With such a narrow majority in the House - six votes - Republicans will have to make some compromise with the moderates to pass the bill. Moderates say the $800 billion 10-year cut is too big, and many say more of the surplus should be used to pay down the federal debt.

The Republicans need every vote because Democrats are solidly in opposition. Democrats favor a smaller tax cut and using more of the surplus for Medicare.

White House officials described the GOP plan as "reckless and irresponsible," reported CBS News White House Correspondent Peter Maer. The administration contended the Republican measure would trigger higher interest rates and additional inflation. Officials said the president would veto the GOP package.

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