Senate Majority Leader shelves economic security package to take up a farm bill that can wait.

WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) today indicated that he would shelve the economic security legislation pending in the Senate – and take up a pork-laden farm bill in its stead.

The South Dakota senator told reporters that he will "pull the bill tomorrow," instead of hammering out a compromise between senators of both parties in the legislative body.

"Again, Tom Daschle has shown his obstructionist colors as Senate leader," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform in Washington. "In a spectacular dereliction of duty, Mr. Daschle has pulled the plug on economic recovery at a time when Americans have genuine concern about their economic security."

The Bush Administration supports the economic security legislation passed in the House last fall, which includes a combination of tax cuts to businesses and individuals, in order to spur investment and spending throughout the American economy. The president has urged cooperation to hammer out an acceptable compromise in the Senate.

Daschle\’s decision today, and negative attitude toward tax relief in the past weeks, has consistently sparked divisions within his own party – mainly with the twelve Democrats who voted in favor of President Bush\’s tax relief package that passed Congress last spring.

Two of those Democrats are Georgia senators Zell Miller and Max Cleland. And on January 18th, the Democratic-controlled state senate in Georgia went so far as to pass a resolution instructing "Daschle to allow President Bush\’s economic security package to receive a vote." The South Dakota legislature also passed twin resolutions instructing Tom Daschle and the rest of its congressional delegation to leave last year\’s tax cut legislation in place.

"The first time Tom Daschle tried to stimulate the economy, he passed a bill so pork-laden that it actually subsidized bison ranching," said Norquist. "Two months after that failure, he kills the idea of economic stimulus entirely, and takes up a farm bill that can wait. What is going on here?"