a division of Home School Legal Defense Association
September 15, 2000

National Center Weekly Update


Congress Fails to Override Marriage Tax Penalty

Texas Tax Court Rules Against Couple Claiming Religious Objection

U.N. Millennium Summit Held in New York City

This week on Capitol Hill we have the following information to report:

Congress Fails to Override Marriage Tax Penalty:

An attempt to override President Clinton’s veto of the Marriage Tax Penalty Relief bill (H.R. 4810) failed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 270 yeas to 158 nays. This vote fell short of the two-thirds majority required by the Constitution to override a presidential veto. H.R. 4810 would have fixed a flaw in the current IRS code that taxes married couples at a much higher rate than unmarried, cohabiting couples. The bill also would have given significant tax relief to all families in the 15 percent tax bracket, allowing them to keep between $600 and $1,000 more each year.

Texas Tax Court Rules Against Couple Claiming Religious Objection

On June 23, 2000, Texas Tax Court Judge David Laro sided with the IRS against a couple who objected to obtaining social security numbers for their children but still wanted to claim them as dependents on their tax forms. The judge said the IRS had a “compelling interest” in effectively tracking claimed dependency exemptions and rejected the family’s plea to use an alternative form of identification for their children.

This case stems from the 1996 Small Jobs Protection Act. In this bill, Congress eliminated the option for parents to provide alternative forms of identification for their children on their tax returns. Under current law, parents must provide the IRS with their children’s SS number in order to claim them as a tax deduction.HSLDA has received hundreds of calls from families who refuse to compromise their religious convictions against SS numbers and consequently are penalized hundreds of dollars.HSLDA is working with Indiana Congressman Hostettler to pass legislation that will fix this discriminating policy.

U.N. Millennium Summit Held in New York City:

Over 150 heads of state met at the United Nations headquarters on September 5-8. Hundreds of officials spoke and adopted a declaration at the end of the summit. Key issues of importance to home schoolers in the summit declaration include:

1. Convention on the Rights of the Child: The declaration encouraged ratification and full implementation of the Convention.

2. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: The declaration urged UN member countries to combat all forms of violence against women and to implement this treaty.

3. International Court of Justice: The declaration asserts a need to strengthen the ICOJ in order to ensure justice and the rule of law in international affairs.

If ratified by the U.S. Senate, these treaties would severely undermine the parental rights and religious freedoms that we enjoy in the America today.HSLDA continues to monitor any activity of these treaties in Congress.

This concludes HSLDA’s Legislative Hotline. We pray that this information will bless your family in your fight for freedom. For more information on HSLDA and home schooling, visit our website at