From the New York Times:
Panel Accord on Increasing Cigarette Tax
By ROBERT PEAR
Published: July 14, 2007
WASHINGTON, July 13 — Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee reached agreement Friday on a bipartisan plan calling for a big increase in the cigarette tax to pay for a $35 billion expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program over the next five years.
The agreement, probably to be approved next week by the committee, sets the stage for a confrontation with President Bush, who proposed a much smaller increase, $5 billion over five years. House Democrats favor a much larger increase, $50 billion over five years..
Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and chairman of the Finance Committee, said, “This plan will get coverage to three million more low-income children — more than a third of the kids who are uninsured today.”
Under the proposal, the federal excise tax on cigarettes would be abruptly increased by 61 cents a pack, to $1 a pack. The plan calls for proportional increases for other tobacco products.
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