Tax cuts will be the top priority for the House Ways & Means Committee when the 106th Congress convenes in January, says Chairman Bill Archer (R, Tex.). At a recent press conference, Archer pointed out that the federal tax burden is at its highest point since World War II, and stated his belief that the size of the current budget surplus should make it possible to enact both a major tax cut and save Social Security. Saving Social Security will be another of the committee's top goals, Archer says, along with enacting additional welfare reforms and fighting protectionism. To help make a tax cut possible, Archer also indicated that the Republican leadership will strive to get a fiscal year 2000 budget resolution passed early in the year. This year the resolution wasn't finalized until mid-October, well past the Oct. 1 startup of the government's 1999 fiscal year.