Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript
CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN BREAKING NEWS

Senator Jeffords Will Not Announce Party Change Today, Will Vote for Bush Tax Plan

Aired May 23, 2001 - 11:38   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We are waiting for an announcement to come from Washington about Senator Jim Jeffords possibly switching teams.

Let's go now to our Kate Snow, who's standing by on Capitol Hill -- Kate.

KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Leon, there's some startling news: We had been expecting Senator Jim Jeffords to address the press at about 2:00 this afternoon. He has just left the Senate floor and said this to reporters: He said I've changed my mind; I'm not going to make an announcement today. Rather, he is planning on going home to his people, he said. He's going back to Vermont, and he said he plans to make an announcement tomorrow, presumably from Vermont.

So it's a very interesting development here, Leon. We don't know whether, perhaps, someone talked to Senator Jeffords on the floor of the Senate. Yesterday, throughout the afternoon, the senator was having conversations with his colleagues.

We do know that he spoke earlier this morning with both Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Minority Leader Tom Daschle. He had told us that he had told them what his decision would be, but at this point, he's saying that he's not going to announce it publicly.

While earlier he said he had made up his mind, and we had every indication that he would announce he was leaving the Republican Party, Jim Jeffords now says he plans to go home to his people, go back to Vermont, and announce it tomorrow -- Leon.

HARRIS: No kidding? Interesting -- another left turn here.

Kate, is this strictly about the decision whether or not to change parties, or is this also him changing his mind about his vote on the tax cut plan, as we talked about earlier?

SNOW: Well, that's interesting, Leon. This does not have to do with his vote. His decision to go home has to do with the announcement about switching parties.

There is also a development, separately, on his vote on the tax cut. Earlier this morning, one of our producers talked with Jim Jeffords, and he said, at that point, after the producer asked him, What are you going to do today, and we have on tape Jim Jeffords saying that he would vote against President Bush's tax cut. We are now being told by Mr. Jeffords' office that he misspoke, that what he meant to say was that he would support the president on his tax cut.

We understand Jim Jeffords will support tax cut, the Senate now expected, perhaps within the next hour -- within the 12:00 Eastern hour -- to vote on the tax cut. And I'm told by others they think about 10 or 12 Democrats will support the tax cut. They do think it will pass the Senate rather easily -- Leon.

HARRIS: Interesting -- we go from left turn to a loopedy-loop.

Thanks much, Kate Snow, on Capitol Hill. We'll talk with about this later on.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   




MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 














Back to the top