[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Volume 37, Number 23 (Monday, June 11, 2001)]
[Pages 858-859]
[Online from the Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

Remarks on Signing the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act 
of 2001

June 7, 2001

    Thank you. Sit down. Behave yourself. You're at the White House. 
    Laura, thank you very much for being here on this historic moment. 
Mr. Vice President, Secretary O'Neill, Director Daniels, Secretary Evans 
and Chao are here, as well. Secretary Abraham, Administrator Christine 
Todd Whitman, Members of the United States Senate, Members of the House 
of Representatives, fellow Americans, welcome.
    Some months ago, in my speech to the joint session of Congress, I 
had the honor of introducing Steven Ramos to the Nation. Steven is the 
network administrator for a school district. His wife, Josefina, teaches 
at a charter school. They have a little girl named Lianna. And they're 
trying to save for Lianna's college education.
    High taxes made saving difficult. Last year they paid nearly $8,000 
in Federal income taxes. Well, today we're beginning to make life for 
the Ramos' a lot easier. Today we start to return some of the Ramos' 
money and not only their money but the money of everybody who paid taxes 
in the United States of America.
    Across the board tax relief does not happen often in Washington, DC. 
In fact, since World War II, it has happened only twice: President 
Kennedy's tax cut in the sixties and President Reagan's tax cuts in the 
1980s. And now it's happening for the third time, and it's about time.
    A year ago tax relief was said to be a political impossibility. Six 
months ago it was supposed to be a political liability. Today it becomes 
reality. It becomes reality because of the bipartisan leadership of the 
Members of the United States Congress: Members like Bill Thomas of 
California, Ralph Hall of Texas, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Max Baucus of 
Montana, Zell Miller of Georgia, John Breaux of Louisiana, Trent Lott of 
Mississippi, and the entire leadership team in the Senate and Denny 
Hastert of Illinois and the leadership team in the House of 
Representatives; some Democrats, many Republicans, who worked tirelessly 
and effectively to produce this important result.
    I also want to pay tribute to the members of my administration who 
worked with Congress to bring about this day: Vice President Cheney, 
Secretary O'Neill, Director Daniels, and the team inside the White House 
of Andy Card and Larry Lindsey, Nick Calio and their staffs.
    With us today are 15 of the many families I met as I toured our 
country making the case for tax relief--hard-working Americans. I was 
able to talk about their stories and their struggles and their hopes, 
which made the case for tax relief much stronger than my words could 
possible convey. And I want to thank you all for coming.
    And here at the White House today are representatives of millions of 
Americans, including labor union members, small-business owners, and 
family farmers. Your persistence and determination helped bring us to 
this day. The American people should be proud of your efforts on their 
behalf, and I personally thank you all for coming.
    Tax relief is a great achievement for the American people. Tax 
relief is the first achievement produced by the new tone in Washington, 
and it was produced in record time. Tax relief is an achievement for 
families struggling to enter the middle class. For hard-working lower 
income families, we have cut the bottom rate of Federal income tax from 
15 percent to 10 percent. We doubled the per-child tax credit to $1,000 
and made it refundable. Tax relief is compassionate, and it is now on 
the way.
    Tax relief is an achievement for middle class families squeezed by 
high energy prices and credit card debt. Most families can look forward 
to a $600 tax rebate before they have to pay the September back-to-
school bills. And in the years ahead, taxpayers can look forward to 
steadily declining income tax rates.
    Tax relief is an achievement for families that want the Government 
tax policy to be fair and not penalize them for making good choices, 
good choices such as marriage and raising a family. So we cut the 
marriage penalty.
    Tax relief makes the code more fair for small businesses and farmers 
and individuals

[[Page 859]]

by eliminating the death tax. Over the long haul, tax relief will 
encourage work and innovation. It will allow American workers to save 
more on their pension plan or individual retirement accounts. Tax relief 
expands individual freedom. The money we return, or don't take in the 
first place, can be saved for a child's education, spent on family 
needs, invested in a home or in a business or a mutual fund or used to 
reduce personal debt.
    The message we send today: It's up to the American people; it's the 
American people's choice. We recognize, loud and clear, the surplus is 
not the Government's money. The surplus is the people's money, and we 
ought to trust them with their own money.
    This tax relief plan is principled. We cut taxes for every income 
tax payer. We target nobody in; we target nobody out. And tax relief is 
now on the way.
    Today is a great day for America. It is the first major achievement 
of a new era, an era of steady cooperation. And more achievements are 
ahead. I thank the Members of Congress in both parties who made today 
possible. Together, we will lead our country to new progress and new 
    It is now my honor to sign the first broad tax relief in a 

Note: The President spoke at 9:58 a.m. in the East Room at the White 
House. H.R. 1836, approved June 7, was assigned Public Law No. 107-16.