Washington (CNSNews.com) - House Republicans held a news conference on Capitol Hill on Monday to send Senate Minority Leader Thomas Daschle a letter signed by more than 70 House members urging Daschle to pass a clean, unamended Marriage Tax Penalty Relief bill when it is considered in the Senate.
The Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Act's sponsor, Representative Jerry Weller (R-IL), told reporters, "Today we're announcing that we're sending a letter which has been signed by almost 70 members of the House to Senator Daschle asking Senator Daschle to oversee clean passage of this Act."
Weller explained in the letter that the 70 members who signed the letter are asking Daschle to abandon efforts to offer "poison pill" amendments to the marriage tax penalty relief legislation.
Weller also said, "We believe this should be a bipartisan effort. We want to ask Senator Daschle and other Senate Democrats to join with us. We are so pleased when 48 Democrats...join with us to vote to wipe out the marriage tax penalty for almost everyone who suffers from it.
"The bottom line is: today is Valentine's Day, and what better gift can we give 25 million married working couples than to enact into law legislation wiping out the marriage tax penalty for 25 million married working couples."
House Republican leader Dick Armey (TX), when asked if Senator Trent Lott (R-OK) supports the bill, Armey said Lott supports it one hundred percent.
Armey says that he realizes the Act has to stay clean.
"We understood that it had to be kept clean, had to stay focused...and we also understood that they (the Senate) had a 'no germainness rule'. (Let's not) bring in any third party considerations. Let's keep the focus where we have it on the marriage tax penalty. Let's keep it clean, keep it uncomplicated and keep it focused, and, on this Saint Valentine's Day, we will have a long and enduring romance."
After the news conference, Weller walked over to Daschle's office and delivered the letter personally. Daschle was not in since the Senate is on its Presidents Day recess this week.