Sen. Conrad Burns Press Release.
Re: Bill to End "Gore Tax."
Date: July 23, 1998.
Source:  Office of Sen. Conrad Burns.  This document was created by scanning a fax copy of the original, and converting it into an HTML document.  The letterhead graphics were lost in the conversion process.   The hypertext links were added.

        U. S. SENATOR               MONTANA
Conrad Burns

Available on INN as: ERATE.TXT WEB SITE
For immediate release:
Thursday, July 23, 1998
Contact: Matt Raymond
(202) 224-8150
Ben O'Connell
(202) 224-6137

Burns-Tauzin Would Ax 'Gore Tax'
Bills Would Pay 'E-Rate' From Excise Tax, End 'Corporations'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Montana Senator Conrad Bums along with Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) today are introducing legislation to cut the current federal telephone excise tax in a third and devoting it toward funding discounted Internet access for educational purposes, or the "E-rate" program. In addition, the bills would remove the authority to administer the program from the Federal Communications Commission and the two "corporations" established by the FCC, transferring it to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

"I get my phone bill every month and see not only a three percent federal tax listed, but also a new line-item charge to finance what was never intended to be an open-ended entitlement," said Burns, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications.

"It is hard to justify the continuation of the excise tax in an era of budget surpluses, and it is harder still to swallow a new tax on our monthly phone bill. This legislation is an excellent compromise that would allow us to keep our promise of educational access to the Internet without sticking it to the American taxpayer. At the same time, we are cutting the new bureaucracy that oversees the program and relying on current agencies."

The Burns-Tauzin legislation would:

"What began with a general and laudable goal in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 inevitably morphed into a political and bureaucratic tool of the vice president, who has spoken continually of reinventing government. In the face of calls to discontinue this program entirely, I hope the administration would support what is indeed a rational compromise," Bums said.