House Approves Marriage Tax Cut
The House voted overwhelmingly to cut income taxes for most married couples and to gradually double the $500-per-child tax credit, endorsing two major pieces of President Bush's $1.6 trillion tax relief plan. The 282-144 vote included votes from 64 Democrats who crossed party lines to support the measures.
The marriage bill would cut taxes for nearly every married couple by eliminating the marriage tax penalty. The bill calls for an elimination of the standard deduction for married couples by 2002. In addition, the bill would provide for the the lowest 15 percent income bracket for married couples to equal twice that of single taxpayers by 2009.
In related news, the House Ways and Means Committee voted largely along party lines later Thursday for a bill which would eliminate the estate tax by 2011. Democrats failed to win approval of an alternative they said would address the problems faced by most small businesses and farms by raising the current $675,000 individual exemption immediately to $2 million and to $2.5 million in 2010.