Archer revises child tax credit WASHINGTON - Bill Archer, R-Texas

Seeking to bridge differences with the Clinton administration, the House's chief tax-writer said Wednesday he was modifying his bill...


Seeking to bridge differences with the Clinton administration, the House's chief tax-writer said Wednesday he was modifying his bill so working families could benefit fully from both the child-care credit and a proposed $500-per-child credit.

In exchange, Rep. Bill Archer, R-Texas, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, called on the White House to broaden coverage of its own $500-a-child credit from children under age 13 to those under age 17, a move he claims would benefit an extra 11 million children.

"From the chairman's point of view, the president raised some concerns. He listened and heard,'' said Archer spokesman Ari Fleischer. "This is a step in his direction.''

President Clinton refused to budge from his insistence that lower-income families who qualify for the earned-income credit also be able to get the per-child credit. He made a counteroffer.

"We would like to suggest to Chairman Archer that he drop the $11 billion he has in his plan to reduce the corporate alternative minimum tax and use the proceeds to make sure that these low-income working families do not get cheated out of the child tax credit,'' White House spokesman Barry Toiv said.

Toiv added that Archer's offer created "a false tradeoff'' and that the administration believed it could offer the per-child tax credit to families with teen-agers without taking from low-income parents getting the earned-income credit.
Of Archer, Toiv said: "His problem is he doesn't have room in his tax bill to help everybody who deserves help because his bill has too much in it for the wealthy.''

Current law allows parents with two children a credit of up to 30 percent of the first $4,800 spent for child care and employment-related child expenses. The separate earned-income credit was enacted to help low-income working families pay their Social Security taxes.

Under Archer's original proposal, which his committee approved Friday on a party-line vote, families would be prevented from receiving the full value of both the child tax credit and the child-care credit.

After 2002, Archer's original bill would have reduced the $500 child tax credit by 50 cents for every dollar the family receives in the child-care credit. Democrats criticized the proposal as penalizing women who work outside the home.

Archer's new proposal would eliminate any interaction between the child-care and $500-per-child credit for families that make less than $50,000.

Archer's change comes as the Senate Finance Committee prepares to vote on a tax bill proposed by Sen. William V. Roth Jr., R-Del., which tracks the general outline of the $85 billion net tax cut approved by the House.

But the Senate panel is expected to enjoy a much less contentious session, particularly after the panel's Democrats joined Republicans to unanimously approve a wide-ranging Medicare reform package.

One Democrat on the panel. Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana, continued to offer a positive review of the Roth bill. "I think there's a real possibility of it passing as is,'' Breaux said. "We think the chairman's mark (bill) is a prett

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