President, Congress likely to clash over tax cut plan

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In an effort to make U.S. corporations more competitive globally, President Bush said he might consider cutting corporate tax rates. Such a plan already is causing friction with some congressional lawmakers, who want more funding for a federal children's healthcare program.

In a televised conference last Thursday the president vowed to veto spending bills that exceed his targets and accused Democrats of planning the large tax increase in history. Prior to the August recess, the House and Senate passed bills that would dramatically expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

The Senate's bill would increase the federal cigarette tax by 61 cents per pack to help fund the program. The House's bill would also raise the cigarette tax and cut Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities and other Medicare programs. Administration officials have repeatedly said a compromise on SCHIP between the president and Congress would be difficult.