Boehner shoots down proposal to agree to Obama tax demand
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other top Republicans on Wednesday shot down a proposal by a senior GOP lawmaker that the House agree to President Obama’s demand to extend current tax rates for the middle class.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a respected party strategist and former chairman of the House GOP campaign committee, became the most prominent House Republican to suggest that the GOP do what has long been unthinkable within the party: lock in the George W. Bush-era tax rates for income up to $250,000 without simultaneously extending them for top earners.
Such a move would amount to a significant victory for Obama in negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff, and Republican leaders said immediately it was a non-starter.
“I told Tom earlier in our conference meeting that I disagreed with him,” Boehner told reporters after a closed-door meeting of the House Republican conference. “He’s a wonderful friend of mine and a great supporter of mine. But raising taxes on the so-called top 2 percent – half of those people are small business owners that pay their taxes through their personal income tax filing every year. The goal here is to grow the economy and to cut spending."
“We’re not going to grow the economy if we raise tax rates on the top two rates,” the Speaker added. “It’ll hurt small businesses. It’ll hurt our economy. That’s why it’s not the right approach. We’ll willing to put revenue on the table as long as we’re not raising rates.”