a division of Home School Legal Defense Association
August 31, 2000

President Vetoes Marriage Tax Penalty Relief
—Congress Poised to Override Veto—

Requested Action:

  1. Check the list below. These are congressmen and senators who all voted to penalize married couples an average of $1,400 per year.
  2. If your congressman or senator is listed, please call him immediately with the following message:
    “Please stop penalizing families by reversing your “No” vote to “Yes”
    on the Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Bill of 2000.”
You can contact your congressman directly or by phoning the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121. Following are the members of Congress who need to receive calls:

Senate Members:
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus, M. (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Breaux (D-LA)
Bryan (D-NV)
Conrad (D-ND)
Daschle (D-SD)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Edwards, J. (D-NC)
Feingold (D-WI)
Graham, B. (D-FL)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hollings (D-SC)
Johnson, T. (D-SD)
Kennedy, E. (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin, C. (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Moynihan (D-NY)
Reed, J. (D-RI)
Reid, H. (D-NV)
Robb (D-VA)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Wellstone (D-MN)
Wyden (D-OR)

House Members:
Ackerman (D-NY-05)
Allen (D-ME-01)
Andrews (D-NJ-01)
Baldacci (D-ME-02)
Baldwin (D-WI-02)
Barrett, T. (D-WI-05)
Becerra (D-CA-30)
Bentsen (D-TX-25)
Berman (D-CA-26)
Berry (D-AR-01)
Blumenauer (D-OR-03)
Bonior (D-MI-10)
Borski (D-PA-03)
Boyd (D-FL-02)
Brady, R. (D-PA-01)
Crowley (D-NY-07)
Cummings (D-MD-07)
Davis, D. (D-IL-07)
Davis, J. (D-FL-11)
DeFazio (D-OR-04)
DeGette (D-CO-01)
Delahunt (D-MA-10)
DeLauro (D-CT-03)
Deutsch (D-FL-20)
Dicks (D-WA-06)
Dingell (D-MI-16)
Dixon (D-CA-32)
Doggett (D-TX-10)
Dooley (D-CA-20)
Edwards, C. (D-TX-11)
Gejdenson (D-CT-02)
Gephardt (D-MO-03)
Gonzalez (D-TX-20)
Green, G. (D-TX-29)
Gutierrez (D-IL-04)
Hall, T. (D-OH-03)
Hastings, A, (D-FL-23)
Hill, B. (D-IN-09)
Hilliard (D-AL-07)
Hinchey (D-NY-26)
Hinojosa (D-TX-15)
Hoeffel (D-PA-13)
Hoyer (D-MD-05)
Jackson, J. (D-IL-02)
Jackson-Lee, (D-TX-18)
Jefferson (D-LA-02)
Kildee (D-MI-09)
LaFalce (D-NY-29)
Lampson (D-TX-09)
Lantos (D-CA-12)
Larson (D-CT-01)
Lee (D-CA-09)
Levin, S. (D-MI-12)
Lewis, John (D-GA-05)
Lofgren (D-CA-16)
Lowey (D-NY-18)
Luther (D-MN-06)
Maloney, C. (D-NY-14)
Markey (D-MA-07)
Matsui (D-CA-05)
McCarthy, K. (D-MO-05)
McDermott (D-WA-07)
McGovern (D-MA-03)
McNulty (D-NY-21)
Meehan (D-MA-05)
Meeks, G. (D-NY-06)
Menendez (D-NJ-13)
Millender-McDonald (D-CA-37)
Miller, George (D-CA-07)
Minge (D-MN-02)
Moakley (D-MA-09)
Mollohan (D-WV-01)
Moran, James (D-VA-08)
Murtha (D-PA-12)
Nadler (D-NY-08)
Napolitano (D-CA-34)
Oberstar (D-MN-08)
Obey (D-WI-07)
Olver (D-MA-01)
Ortiz (D-TX-27)
Pallone (D-NJ-06)
Pastor (D-AZ-02)
Payne (D-NJ-10)
Pelosi (D-CA-08)
Peterson, C. (D-MN-07)
Pomeroy (D-ND-AL)
Price, D. (D-NC-04)
Rahall (D-WV-03)
Rangel (D-NY-15)
Reyes (D-TX-16)
Rivers (D-MI-13)
Rodriguez (D-TX-28)
Rothman (D-NJ-09)
Roybal-Allard (D-CA-33)
Rush (D-IL-01)
Sanchez (D-CA-46)
Sanders (I-VT-AL)
Sawyer (D-OH-14)
Schakowsky (D-IL-09)
Scott (D-VA-03)
Sherman (D-CA-24)
Slaughter (D-NY-28)
Snyder (D-AR-02)
Stark (D-CA-13)
Stenholm (D-TX-17)
Strickland (D-OH-06)
Tanner (D-TN-08)
Taylor, G. (D-MS-05)
Thompson, M. (D-CA-01)
Thurman, K. (D-FL-05)
Tierney (D-MA-06)
Towns (D-NY-10)
Turner (D-TX-02)
Udall, T. (D-NM-03)
Velazquez (D-NY-12)
Visclosky (D-IN-01)
Waters (D-CA-35)
Watt, M. (D-NC-12)
Waxman (D-CA-29)
Weiner (D-NY-09)
Wexler (D-FL-19)
Weygand (D-RI-02)
Woolsey (D-CA-06)
Wynn (D-MD-04)

Update on Marriage Tax Penalty Relief (H.R. 4810):
At the end of July, both the House and Senate passed The Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Act of 2000 and sent it to the president. Unfortunately, on August 5, 2000, President Clinton vetoed this bill for the second time in two years, reneging on his January State of the Union promise to support Marriage Tax Penalty legislation this year. Both the House and the Senate are just a handful of votes away from the 2/3 majority needed to override the president’s veto. Congressional leadership will bring this bill to the floor and attempt to override this veto in the first or second week of September. Your calls are critical to their success.

H.R. 4810 benefits all married couples-both one and two-income families. Not only will this bill fix a long standing problem called the “marriage tax penalty” (a current law that taxes some couples higher when they are married than if they were only cohabiting) but it also gives a much needed tax cut to most of America’s working families. H.R. 4810 provides relief to these families in two ways: 1) It raises the standard deduction from $7,350 to $8,800 per couple, and 2) it raises the upper end cutoff of the 15 percent tax bracket from an income of $43,850 to $52,500. These cuts mean a tax savings of $1,400 for the average family. These changes let home school families keep more money to contribute to the future of their own children.

What Is the Marriage Tax Penalty?
The marriage tax penalty arises from a combination of three different injustices in the federal tax code:

  1. The federal tax code phases out The Earned Income Tax Credit for qualifying married couples more quickly than it does for single taxpayers.
  2. Married couples who do not itemize receive a standard deduction less than the standard deduction for two unmarried taxpayers.
  3. Married couples who file separate returns fall into the 15-percent tax bracket beginning at a taxable income of $18,450 while single individuals are not taxed until their taxable income reaches $22,100. This same discrepancy continues up at the 28-31-36-and 39.9-percent tax brackets.

The marriage tax penalty is inherently anti-family. It encourages single individuals to avoid the tax penalty by cohabiting instead of marrying. By living together and avoiding marriage, these couples’ tax savings can be significant. For example, a cohabiting couple that has a combined taxable income of $40,000 per year ($20,000 each) would pay total taxes of $7,492. However, if they married, their tax would equal $8,480—nearly $1000 dollars more. Over 25 million married couples pay an average of $1,480 of additional taxes each year simply because they have two incomes and are married. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 42 percent of married couples incurred a marriage penalty in 1996. Clearly, the marriage tax penalty relief is more than just a fix in the tax code; it addresses a moral question with national significance. Government policy should not discourage God ordained marriage.


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