WASHINGTON -- House and Senate conferees kicked off their tax negotiations with an organizational meeting yesterday, but they are expected to make no substantive decisions until next week.
In hammering out the final version of President Clinton's tax package, the conferees will have to reconcile sharp differences between the way the House and Senate bills treat the tax exemptions for mortgage revenue bonds and small-issue industrial development bonds, which expired June 30, 1992.
The House bill would make both exemptions permanent; the Senate bill would extend them only through June 30, 1994. The House bill would also create a new category of exempt facility bond to be used for enterprise zone businesses, and it would remove volume cap restrictions on high-speed rail bonds. The Senate bill does not contain those provisions.
The conferees' meeting yesterday came one day after Wednesday's naming of the House tax conferees by the House Democratic leadership. The conferees from the House Ways and Means Committee are the committee chairman, Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill.,Rep. Sam Gibbons, D-Fla., Rep. J.J. Pickle, D-Tex., Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., Rep. Bill Archer, R-Tex., and Rep. Phil Crane, R-Ill.
Conferees from the Senate Finance Committee were named earlier this month. They are: the committee chairman, Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan, D-N.Y.. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., Sen. David Pryor, D-Ark., Sen. John Rockefeller, D-W.Va.. Sen. Don Riegle, D-Mich., Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine, Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore.. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., Sen. John Danforth, R-Mo., Sen. John Chafee, R-R.I., and Sen. William Roth, R-Del., and Sen. David Durenberger, R-Minn.
Along with the tax conferees, the leadership named dozens of other house members to negotiate with their Senate counterparts on various sections of the mammoth budget bill, which includes the tax package.