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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Camp David, Maryland)
For Immediate Release                                      July 18, 2000


While I strongly support targeted marriage penalty relief, the marriage penalty bill put forth by the majority in Congress is one part of a fiscally irresponsible, poorly targeted, and regressive tax plan. If this strategy succeeds, more benefits will go to the top one percent of taxpayers than to the bottom eighty percent of all Americans, while ignoring tax cuts I have proposed for college tuition, long-term care, savings, and childcare. By itself, I would veto this bill. In the spirit of bipartisanship, however, I am willing to accept marriage penalty relief on this scale if Congress passes a plan that preserves the Medicare surplus to pay down the debt and passes a plan that gives real, voluntary Medicare prescription drug coverage that is available and affordable for all seniors. This is the best way to break the partisan logjam and help the tens of millions of older Americans across this country who face rising prescription drug costs.