Senate Majority Leader
Bill Frist’s Speech Announcing Death Tax Repeal
“Think about it ... from the second you're born,
every move is taxed. But the Democrats? They're not
content with that. They've managed to give us what may
be the most offensive tax of all: the death tax. But
let me make it clear, the days of the death tax are
numbered! This May I'll bring it to the Senate floor
for a vote. I will do everything in my power to bury
the death tax once and for all!”
February 10, 2006
Announces timing for Senate
consideration of Marriage Protection Amendment, Death
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The following is an embargoed copy
of the keynote address to be delivered by U.S. Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN) today at the
33rd annual CPAC Convention in Washington, DC. In his
speech, Frist will discuss core conservative principles
and outline some of the Senate's priorities for 2006.
He also will announce timing for Senate consideration
of both the Marriage Protection Amendment and the Death
The following is a copy of the text:
Today I want to talk about leadership. And in doing
so, I can't help but think of a line I recently heard.
Last week, in an interview on Fox News ... Harry Reid
was asked, "Who is the leader of the Democratic
Reid's response: "Someone else will have to make
"Someone else will have to make that decision."
To me, that says it all.
On every major issue we face, the Democrats let someone
else make the decisions.
MoveOn.org ... NARAL ... People for the American Way.
Just look at the Alito hearings. I don't know about
you ... but it didn't look to me like the Democrats
were speaking for their constituents. It looked to me
like they were speaking for those far-left, liberal
Which leads me to wonder ... if someone else is always
writing the script, where do they really stand? What
do they really believe? How can they really lead?
That's the difference between us and them.
We know what we believe.
We believe - deeply believe - that it's our responsibility
to protect traditional commonsense, American values.
We believe - deeply believe - that when we give you
the freedom to invest your money as you choose, the
economy has more freedom to grow.
And at the end of the day ... we believe that good
leaders don't talk about principle; good leaders lead
on principle, and they act with solutions. It's what
we've done as a party.
Let me give you a good example ...
Presidential responsibility for filling vacancies on
our federal courts is spelled out in the Constitution
... and it's spelled out clearly.
The president names a qualified nominee. Our job in
the Senate is to provide "advice and consent."
For over 200 years, that's how it was done.
Until the Democrats took control of the Senate in 2002.
They filibustered one nominee ... then another ...
then another. It became their routine.
Remember Miguel Estrada?
He was the best of the best. A Honduran immigrant ...
Harvard Law Review ...tried 15 cases before the Supreme
And what did they do?
They mounted a brutal - inexcusable - public campaign
of character defamation.
He was filibustered 7 times.
It was unprecedented. And it was wrong.
Their litmus test was simple: if a nominee didn't subscribe
to a liberal, activist ideological agenda, they didn't
get a vote.
Never in 214 years had a minority denied a nominee
with majority support an up-or-down vote.
So we put forward a principle, and we led on it: a
fair up-or-down vote for every nominee.
I made it clear... that on May 24 ... at 2:30 ... I
would use the constitutional option if the Democrats
didn't stop using the filibuster as a tool to obstruct.
No "ifs" ... no "ands" ... no "buts."
Because we acted on that principle - because we held
firm - today the Democrats' use of the filibuster is
dead. It's no longer a weapon in their arsenal of obstruction.
Because we acted... 6 of the President's nominees -
Janice Rogers Brown, Richard Griffin, Thomas Griffith,
David McKeague, Priscilla Owen, William Pryor - are
now proudly serving this nation as federal judges.
Because we acted ... as we sit here tonight ... a new
Chief Justice - Chief Justice John Roberts - serves
at the helm of the highest court in the land. And Sam
Alito sits at his side.
And because we acted ...today we're one step closer
to an America where activist judges can't clear the
way for local governments to seize your property and
hand it off to a private developer ...
An America where activist judges can't declare that
a 14-year-old girl can walk into a clinic and have an
abortion without her parents' consent ...
An America where activist judges can't take it upon
themselves to re-define the institution of marriage.
By leading on principle, we've helped President Bush
secure a legacy. Just think about it ... by the end
of his Presidency, George W. Bush will have appointed
... and this Senate will have confirmed ... 1 out of
every 3 of the 871 Federal judges serving this nation.
That's an example of leading on principle and acting
with solutions. We've done it in the past, and we'll
do it in the future.
I mentioned marriage. Today, the institution of marriage
is under attack. The majority of Americans believe that
marriage is between a man and a woman. And they believe
no individual - no group - has the authority to say
otherwise. But a small minority of activist judges disagrees.
They think they know better.
A recent case in Nebraska comes to mind. After voters
overwhelmingly passed a state constitutional amendment
to define marriage as being between a man and a woman,
an activist federal judge stepped in to strike it down.
As if to say to the people: "I know what's best
for America, not you."
When the whims of a few activist judges are free to
override the commonsense of the American people, we
need to act. When Americans are told that their voices
and votes no longer matter, we need to act. When America's
values are under attack, we need to act!
And this June 5, when I bring the Marriage Protection
Amendment to the Senate floor, we will act.
Leading on principle, and acting with solutions we're
going to protect America from the radical agendas of
activist judges ... and let me tell you what else we're
going to do.
We're going to put more of your hard-earned dollars
back in your pockets.
Whether it's a water tax, a gas tax, a payroll tax,
a utility tax, a cable tax, or a property tax ... we're
taxed from the minute we wake up in the morning with
that first cup of coffee to the minute we turn off the
lights to go to sleep at night.
And it needs to stop. We're an overtaxed nation, and
hardworking Americans deserve a break.
In 2001 and 2003, as the Democrats called out to raise
your taxes, we responded ... with tax cut ... after
tax cut ... after tax cut.
We've created 4.7 million new jobs.
Unemployment is the lowest it's been since September
70% of Americans own their homes. Minority homeownership
is at an all time high.
We led on principle. We acted with solutions.
You won't ever hear a Democrat admit it, but the simple
fact is ... the tax cuts are working.
They've led to 3 years of strong growth, and now is
the time to make them permanent!
Think about it ... from the second you're born, every
move is taxed. But the Democrats? They're not content
with that. They've managed to give us what may be the
most offensive tax of all: the death tax.
But let me make it clear, the days of the death tax
are numbered! This May I'll bring it to the Senate floor
for a vote. I will do everything in my power to bury
the death tax once and for all!
Working together we'll secure that vision for a stronger,
freer, more prosperous America.
An America where your hard-earned dollars are safe
from the hands of tax and spend liberals...and our conservative
values are safe from the minds of radical judges.
We believe in that vision for America. And we know
what it takes to achieve it.
We know that solutions won't be found in rhetoric.
We know that leadership doesn't come from the talking
points of left-wing interest groups. But from within.
From principles...from having the courage to stand behind
We know that the values of the American people...aren't
found in Hollywood....but right here in this very room.
And that's where you come in.
During the last election, a lot of folks in the media
forgot about you. They forgot that there are people
who actually live in that vast expanse between Manhattan
And while the media focused on what the elites had
to say...and all the folks in Hollywood-you pressed
on...quiet soldiers...posting the signs...registering
the voters...getting out the vote.
You... pressed on.
And it is you - who will keep marching forward in this
fight to ensure that our values-our conservative values