WASHINGTON-Today the United States Senate passed its reconciliation bill to the House-approved Bush tax relief plan on a vote of 62-38.  The bill eliminates the Death Tax and reduces marginal tax rates.  After months of debate and negotiations, this important action by the Senate brings final passage of the bill one step closer for signature by the President.  Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) issued the following statement concerning the Senate\’s action:

"I am pleased that all 50 Republicans were joined by 12 Democrats in voting for this reconciliation bill.  These Senators who voted in this bipartisan fashion recognize that Americans are overtaxed and that the most effective way to revive a sluggish economy is to put money back in the pockets of working Americans.

"This bipartisan vote is proof that Americans want and need tax relief.  The successful passage was only possible thanks to the courage and tireless work of Senators Lott, Grassley and Nickles as well as President Bush.

"I am especially pleased that there were no significant changes to the tax cut bill.  All 48 roll call votes, which were nothing more than dilatory and obstructionist tactics aimed at undermining the tax relief package, were defeated.

"This vote paves the way for final passage of the first major tax cut since 1981.  All 62 Senators should be commended for their decision to listen to the concerns of their constituents who really need tax relief and not the special interests who are out of touch with working Americans," Norquist concluded.