House Override Vote Expected on Marriage Penalty Bill

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

( - The Republican majority in the House will attempt on Wednesday to override President Clinton's veto of the marriage penalty bill.

The measure would reduce taxes paid by married couples by nearly $90 billion over five years. However, insiders say the Republicans will not receive enough Democratic votes to override the president's veto.

Clinton vetoed the bill in August, calling it "the first installment of a fiscally reckless tax strategy." The bill's proponents say it would be a remedy for married couples because they pay more in taxes than they would as a pair of individual taxpayers. Opponents say the bill also would cut taxes for couples that are unaffected by the marriage penalty.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) is among the groups supporting a House override.

"Pro-family groups and Congress have worked for years to end the tax penalty on an institution that provides the foundation for a stable society. The vote to override President Clinton's veto will reveal which members of Congress consider marriage merely a taxable item or a sacred relationship. Marriage should be respected, not penalized," Concerned Women for America said in a statement on Tuesday.

CWA has scheduled a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday featuring a newly married couple -- dressed in wedding gown and tux - who took their vows two weeks ago. The couple will explain to reporters how the marriage tax adversely affects them.

This will be the House of Representatives' second override attempt in recent days. Lawmakers failed to override Clinton's veto of the Death Tax Elimination Act when they returned from their summer recess.

Representative Jerry Weller (R-IL), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said, "I am committed to fighting for the elimination of the marriage tax. If we do not get the votes, then it will be up to the American voters in November to determine who is on the side of tax fairness for families."

Weller added, "I think the choice is clear. Governor Bush and Republicans in Congress have a record of cutting taxes for families. Al Gore has a record of casting the tie- breaking vote for the largest tax increase in history, and stood silent while his partner Bill Clinton vetoed these two responsible bills."