February 14, 2006 in Nation/World

Senators haggle over tax bill

The Spokesman-Review
 

Senators argued Monday over the Bush administration’s tax cuts for investors while sending a $70 billion tax bill into final negotiations.

Although the bill makes no mention of tax cuts for capital gains and dividends, Democrats lined up motions to attack the tax reductions and Republicans rushed to defend them.

The bill would cut taxes $70 billion over five years, mostly extending tax breaks scheduled to expire before the end of the decade.

The centerpiece of the House bill would preserve tax cuts for capital gains and dividends for two years after their scheduled disappearance at the end of 2008. The biggest feature of the Senate bill would prevent millions of families from owing the alternative minimum tax this year.

Washington

Rove on Abramoff: Just acquaintance

Three former associates of Jack Abramoff said Monday that the now-disgraced lobbyist frequently told them during his lobbying work he had strong ties to the White House through presidential confidant Karl Rove.

The White House said Monday that Rove remembers meeting Abramoff at a 1990s political meeting and considered the lobbyist a “casual acquaintance” since President Bush took office in 2001.

New questions have arisen about Abramoff’s ties to the White House since a photo emerged over the weekend showing Abramoff with Bush. Also surfacing were the contents of an e-mail from Abramoff to Washingtonian magazine claiming he had met briefly with the president nearly a dozen times.

Three former business associates of Abramoff, who worked with the lobbyist in various roles between 2001 and 2004, told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity that Abramoff routinely mentioned Rove when talking about his influence inside the White House.

New York

Northeast digs out from winter blast

Drivers shoveled out their cars, marooned travelers waited impatiently for trains and planes to get back to full service, and utility crews struggled to restore power Monday after a record-breaking weekend snowstorm across the Northeast.

Hundreds of schools canceled classes from West Virginia to Massachusetts, but youngsters did not get a holiday in New York City, where subways continued running and major streets had been plowed despite a record 26.9-inch snowfall.

Airlines worked to catch up after canceling hundreds of weekend flights at major airports from Washington to Boston, stranding travelers across the country.

All three major New York-area airports – Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark – had reopened with limited service by Monday morning.

Compiled from wire reports

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