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Sunday, May 27, 2001



Abercrombie gives
tax bill sole isle vote


By Leila Fujimori
Star-Bulletin

Of Hawaii's four-member congressional delegation, only one -- U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie -- voted for President Bush's tax-cut bill yesterday.

"The Republican bill moved toward the Democratic position," Abercrombie said.

Abercrombie cited tuition tax credits, eliminating the marriage penalty, and doubling the childcare credit as examples.

Despite the $1.35 trillion tax cut, he said, "I believe we will be able to sustain the Social Security trust fund, the Medicare trust fund and continue to pay down the debt and still have sufficient funds to be able to return tax money to those who paid it."

The other three members of Hawaii's all-Democrat congressional delegation apparently disagree with Abercrombie.

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka voted no, but withdrew his vote as a courtesy to a Republican senator who was not present, his spokesman Paul Cardus said. That Wyoming senator would have voted for the bill, so the withdrawal did not affect the final outcome of the vote.

Akaka was en route to Hawaii yesterday and was unavailable for comment. But the senator has been saying all along that the $1.35 trillion tax cut was too high, said Cardus.

Akaka and other Democrats were opposed to the marriage tax break, college tuition and child credits because they would either not start for four or five years or would end in four or five years, Cardus said.

Abercrombie said people can expect a tax rebate check in the mail in August or September and see more money in their pockets with a change in the withholding tax by reducing the current tax brackets, possibly as early as July.

Abercrombie said he was also pleased to have language he authored on the estate tax in the bill. It would allow those inheriting closely held businesses and family corporations more time to pay the inheritance tax.



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