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Clinton to Propose Small-Business Credit

Taxes: President responds to criticism from GOP, which says he broke promises with his vetoes.

June 06, 1996|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Under attack from Republicans who claim he hasn't kept promises to help small businesses, President Clinton said he will propose a 10% tax credit for small-business employers who subsidize their workers' education and training.

"We want to provide incentives to help you if you are so inclined to do that," the president told a group of entrepreneurs gathered Tuesday night under the auspices of the Small Business Administration.

Clinton spoke after Rep. Jan Meyers (R-Kan.), chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, and House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) released a report Tuesday showing Clinton vetoed eight bills that contained some of the 60 top recommendations made at last summer's White House Conference on Small Business.

Clinton didn't mention the tax credit in a report sent to Congress on Wednesday. But he did defend his administration's treatment of the recommendations.

"Their ideas are reflected in many of the recent initiatives of my administration," Clinton wrote, citing efforts such as easing "impediments" to loans and simplifying the tax code to make it more equitable for small companies.

An administration spokeswoman said the president supported the vetoed bills in principle but that the vetoes were necessary because the legislation included unacceptable cuts in other programs.

At last summer's conference, the president pledged to help small businesses "restore the American dream" by working for many of their recommendations, such as reducing estate taxes, reforming the pension system and reducing lawsuits.

"But with the stroke of the pen, the president has repeatedly missed opportunities to fulfill that pledge," Meyers told reporters.

Without directly referring to the GOP accusation, Clinton said he has already signed many of the recommendations of the conference into law and that other legislation remains under consideration with good chances of passage.

Clinton said that in the last three years, "there have been more small businesses started than in any three years in American history."

The Republican news conference was intended to underscore the GOP's support for a key constituency's issues, notably lower taxes and regulatory relief.

"Our pledge for the rest of this year is to continue to push for fundamental change as it relates to small business," Gingrich said.

Fifteen bills stemming from those small-business conference recommendations have become law, and Small Business Administration spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg said the president supports many of the others.

All but one of the vetoes occurred because Republicans included the legislation in the balanced-budget bills that proposed unacceptable cuts in other programs, she said.

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