Counting Votes for the Bush Tax Cut

In the days following President Bush’s announcement that he was proposing a new $670-billion tax-cut plan, some Republican senators were quoted in news reports as saying they had reservations about the plan, or even opposed it.

The Senate’s most liberal GOP member, Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), said in a January 9 press conference that he would not support it. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) told Sean Hannity on his radio show January 16 that he would oppose some of the plan, but not all of it.

Considering that the Republican have only a 51-to-49 Senate majority, and that almost every Democratic senator who voted for the 2001 Bush tax cut-except Zell Miller (Ga.)-has come out against this year’s plan, Majority Leader Bill Frist must hold every other Republican vote in order to put it through.

HUMAN EVENTS directly contacted the offices of each Republican senator to ask if he or she would vote for the President’s full tax-cut proposal. Between January 13 and January 16, HE intern Katie Filbeck from the National Journalism Center placed repeated calls to all GOP Senate offices to ask the question. Twenty-five Republican senators told HUMAN EVENTS they will support the entire plan. Twenty-four did not return calls, or said they did not want to give a response. Of these, many are almost certain to be supporters of the Bush plan. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.), for example, did not respond, but predicted on NBC’s "Meet the Press" last week that the full plan would pass the Senate.

Others who did not return calls, or gave equivocal non-responses, fall into a more problematic category.

Although no one from the Chafee or McCain office returned our calls, we placed the two senators in the "opponents" category because of their public statements on the issue.

For the record, here is how Republican Senate offices responded to our inquiry on the Bush tax plan. We urge subscribers to contact non-responders directly to ask them where they stand. (Senators can be reached at the numbers shown below or toll free at 877-762-8762.)

Opponents of the Bush Tax Cut

Chafee, Lincoln (R.I.)
McCain, John (Ariz.)

Supporters of the Bush Tax Cut

Allard, Wayne (Colo.)
Allen, George (Va.)
Bennett, Robert (Utah)
Bond, Christopher (Mo.)
Brownback, Sam (Kan.)
Chambliss, Saxby (Ga.)
Cornyn, John (Tex.)
Craig, Larry (Idaho)
Crapo, Michael (Idaho)
Domenici, Pete (N.M.)
Fitzgerald, Peter (Ill.)
Grassley, Chuck (Iowa)
Hatch, Orrin (Utah)
Hutchison, Kay (Tex.)
Inhofe, James (Okla.)
Kyl, Jon (Ariz.)
Lott, Trent (Miss.)
Lugar, Richard (Ind.)
McConnell, Mitch (Ky.)
Murkowski, Lisa (Alaska)
Nickles, Don (Okla.)
Shelby, Richard (Ala.)
Smith, Gordon (Ore.)
Sununu, John (N.H.)
Talent, James (Mo.)


Alexander, Lamar (Tenn.)
(202) 224-4944

*Bunning, Jim (Ky.)
(202) 224-4343

*Burns, Conrad (Mont.)
(202) 224-2644

*Campbell, Ben (Colo.)
(202) 224-5852

Cochran, Thad (Miss.)
(202) 224-5054
"Until we see it in bill form, it’s hard to say yes we support it."
-Cochran press aide

*Coleman, Norm (Minn.)
(202) 224-5641

*Collins, Susan (Maine)
(202) 224-2523

DeWine, Mike (Ohio)
(202) 224-2315
"He has concerns with it"
-DeWine press aide

Dole, Elizabeth (N.C.)
(202) 224-6342

*Ensign, John (Nev.)
(202) 224-6244

Enzi, Michael (Wyo.)
(202) 224-3424

Frist, Bill (Tenn.)
(202) 224-3344

Graham, Lindsey (S.C.)
(202) 224-5972

*Gregg, Judd (N.H.)
(202) 224-3324

Hagel, Chuck (Neb.)
(202) 224-4224
"That’s not how the real world works."
-Hagel aide Beth Lee, when asked for a yes-or-no answer.

*Roberts, Pat (Kan.)
(202) 224-4774

*Santorum, Rick (Pa.)
(202) 224-6324

*Sessions, Jeff (Ala.)
(202) 224-4124

*Snowe, Olympia (Maine)
(202) 224-5344

Specter, Arlen (Pa.)
(202) 224-4254

Stevens, Ted (Alaska)
(202) 224-3004
"We will not participate."
-Stevens press aide

Thomas, Craig (Wyo.)
(202) 224-6441

*Voinovich, George (Ohio)
(202) 224-3353

*Warner, John (Va.)
(202) 224-2023

*Did not return our calls