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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD), a leading proponent in the House for tax reform and simplification, released the following statement today in response to the Bush Administration’s announcement on Thursday that it push back the deadline for the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform to issue recommendations:
“The President’s decision to give the Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform two additional months to issue its recommendations is not only unnecessary but also unwise. In fact, this decision by the White House demonstrates that its domestic priorities are exactly backwards: The Administration ought to scuttle its overwhelmingly unpopular Social Security privatization plan and focus more attention on federal tax reform.
“Democrats recognize that Social Security faces long-term challenges that must be addressed, but there is no reason that the White House cannot multi-task and focus on both Social Security and tax reform.
“With this decision, the White House is essentially throwing in the towel on tax reform because Congressional Republicans will not want to tackle this issue in an election year.
“For more than a year, I have said that real tax reform requires bipartisanship and, more importantly, presidential leadership. I am disappointed today that President Bush has decided to punt on this important issue, and I urge him to reconsider.
“The American people need and want tax reform that makes our tax laws fairer, simpler and more efficient. House Democrats will continue to fight for reform that accomplishes each of these objectives.”