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ARCHER RIBS CLINTON ON IRS

President Clinton's grudging support for an IRS restructuring plan won't rob congressional Republicans of a potent election-year issue because the public "knows what a difference a Republican Congress can make," the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said Saturday.

"One of the very interesting things to watch in Washington is a train leaving the station with politicians rushing to get on after it's already beginning to move out of the blocks," Rep. Bill Archer, R-Texas, said on CNN's "Evans & Novak."

After months of opposition, the Clinton administration endorsed a House bill aimed at restructuring the Internal Revenue Service, once sponsors had agreed to key changes.

The administration had opposed creating an oversight board, which could hire and fire the IRS commissioner. The bill now leaves the appointment power with the president.

It has 28 taxpayer rights provisions, such as relief for so-called innocent spouses, usually divorced women fined because of tax-filing mistakes by ex-husbands.

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