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Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s Speech Announcing Death Tax Repeal Vote

“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 Tax Repeal

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 Tax Repeal.

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 Party today?"

Reid's response: "Someone else will have to make that decision."

"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 interest groups.

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 Court.

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. Conservative judges.


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.

The results:

We've created 4.7 million new jobs.

Unemployment is the lowest it's been since September 11th.

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. But action.

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 those principles.

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 Malibu.

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 ...live on.




© 2006 American Family Business Institute