Ashcroft Says GOP In Danger Of Losing Majority
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 17) -- Sen. John Ashcroft says unless Republicans substantially cut taxes, Democrats could take control of the House and Senate this year.
Appearing on CNN's "Evans and Novak," the Missouri Republican said the American people "gave us the majority expecting us to relieve some of this onerous tax burden".
Ashcroft says he expects Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) to keep a tax cut promise he made to Ashcroft and four other conservative senators, regarding upcoming House-Senate negotiations on a final budget agreement.
Ashcroft adds he won't "support a budget that does not come back and honor the agreement which we made with the leadership about substantially increased tax relief for the American people."
On the possibility of losing majority control this November, Ashcroft, who is expected to run for the GOP's 2000 presidential nomination, says he thinks the Republicans could certainly lose the House or the Senate.
Aside from failing to follow through on tax cuts, Ashcroft says his party hasn't done a good job of lightening "the load of government on the backs of the citizens of America." He says he believes the GOP should reinforce its commitment to the American people "with a strong agenda to strengthen families, to harmonize the values of America with the policy of America."
Expanding on his concerns with GOP stands on social issues, Ashcroft says he believes Republicans have been too cautious in dealing with the scandals surrounding President Clinton. Ashcroft says he believes "for anyone who's in a leadership position to stand mute and silent in the face of the kind of conduct that's been described here is to implicitly endorse that conduct."
Ashcroft cast the only dissenting vote in the Commerce Committee's 19-1 passage of a tobacco control bill earlier this month. He says he is "amazed" Congress is leaping for what he considers a massive, regressive tax measure. Ashcroft says low income people addicted to smoking will spend more money on cigarettes and less on "their kids and their clothing and on their food."