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(Washington, D.C.) -- Today at press conference with Senators Snowe (R-ME) and Lieberman (D-CT), U.S. Senator Patty Murray continued to push for a national sales tax holiday to help stimulate the economy.

Senator Murray's remarks follow:

Today, we are calling on President Bush and the leadership of the House and Senate to include a national sales tax holiday in the final economic stimulus bill. With a 10-day national sales tax holiday, consumers in 45 states and the District of Columbia could make purchases without paying state and local sales taxes. That will boost consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of our economy.

Let me highlight a few of the benefits of this innovative and fiscally-responsible proposal. First, a national sales tax holiday will stimulate our economy. Seven states and the District of Columbia have had excellent results from sales tax holidays. Business and consumer response has been tremendous. A sales tax holiday will boost consumer confidence and spending.

Today, consumer confidence is at its lowest level in more than seven years. A sales tax holiday will encourage consumers to go out and buy more goods. And because consumers only get the benefit if they go out and buy, every dollar will have a direct stimulative impact.

A sales tax holiday will also encourage business investment. As consumers go out and spend more, retailers will need to expand inventory, which is good news for manufacturers and everyone else in the retail chain.

Finally, a sales tax holiday is responsible. We estimate that our bill would cost around $6.5 billion. That won't break the bank. And that's important at a time when OMB is projecting budget deficits until 2005.

Our proposal is the right idea at the right time. And almost as important: it's bipartisan. Senator Snowe has been a tremendous partner in this effort. And I also want to recognize Senators Lieberman, Santorum, Dorgan, Thurmond, Durbin, Craig, Cleland, Bond, Feinstein, Warner, Johnson, Mikulski, Carnahan, Specter, and Schumer for cosponsoring this legislation.

We've all come together on a bipartisan basis because we know our economy needs a shot in the arm, and a National Sales Tax Holiday will stimulate our economy. I again urge the President and the leadership of the House and Senate to include a sales tax holiday in their negotiations on an economic stimulus bill, so we can get America's economy back on its feet.