In his State of the Union Address last month, President Bush restated his opposition to fiscally sound tax policy, declaring "If any bill [that] raises taxes reaches my desk, I will veto it." Many expect that the President will define the term "tax increase" to include any measure that closes or reduces tax loopholes benefiting narrow interests and might even include measures that would merely reduce tax avoidance.
Congress is facing a variety of policy issues that require new funding and is wondering how it can possibly work around the President's demands. In the closely-divided Senate, most bills require 60 votes to win approval, and the Democratic leadership has been thwarted by several Republican filibusters. Below we discuss some of the issue areas where this has become most problematic.