Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Wednesday that he would rather raise tax rates than eliminate loopholes and cap deductions in a “fiscal cliff” deal.
“Personally, I know we have to raise revenue; I don’t really care which way we do it,” the conservative senator told MSNBC. “Actually, I would rather see the rates go up than do it the other way, because it gives us greater chance to reform the tax code and broaden the base in the future.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) quickly embraced Coburn as a GOP defector. “Senator Coburn is an unquestioned conservative,” he said in a statement. ”If he doesn’t provide cover for the Republicans to finally shift on tax rates, I don’t know who does.”
Americans for Tax Reform lists 219 of 435 incoming Representatives and 39 of 100 incoming Senators who have signed Grover's pledge.
Of those 33 Representatives and 12 Senators have renounced their pledge as of 12/6/12. This leaves 186 Representatives and 27 Senators.
16 incoming Republican Representatives and 6 incoming Republican Senators never signed the pledge. 66 incoming Republicans oppose it.
Robert Andrews (NJ-01) - Charles Boustany (LA-03) - Howard Coble (NC-06) - Tom Cole (OK-04) - John Campbell (CA-45) Rick Crawford (AR-01) - Charlie Dent (PA-15) - Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) - Jo Ann Emerson (MO-08) - Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01) Chris Gibson (NY-19) - Kay Granger (TX-12) - Walter Jones (NC-03) - Peter King (NY-02) - John Kline (MN-02) - Tom Latham (IA-03) Buck McKeon (CA-25) - Pat Meehan (PA-07) - Tom Marino (PA-10) - Rich Nugent (FL-11) - Erik Paulsen (MN-03) - Tom Reed (NY-23) Reid Ribble (WI-08) - Scott Rigell (VA-02) - Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48) - Tom Rooney (FL-17) - Dennis Ross (FL-15) - Jon Runyan (NJ-03) John Shimkus (IL-15) - Mike Simpson (ID-02) - Adrian Smith (NE-03) - Lee Terry (NE-02) - Dan Webster (FL-10) Lamar Alexander (TN-SEN) - Kelly Ayotte (NH-SEN) - Saxby Chambliss (GA-SEN) - Tom Coburn (OK-SEN) - Bob Corker (TN-SEN) Mike Crapo (ID-SEN) - Mike Enzi (WY-SEN) - Lindsey Graham (SC-SEN - Mike Johanns (NE-SEN) - John McCain (AZ-SEN) Jeff Sessions (AL-SEN) - David Vitter (LA-SEN)
Americans for Tax Reform lists 238 of 435 outgoing Representatives and 41 of 100 outgoing Senators who have signed Grover's pledge.
Of those 44 Representatives and 13 Senators have renounced their pledge as of 12/6/12. This leaves 194 Representatives and 28 Senators.
6 outgoing Republican Representatives and 7 outgoing Republican Senators never signed the pledge. 67 outgoing Republicans oppose it, 76 total.
Charlie Bass (NH-02) - Ben Chandler (KY-06) - Chip Cravaack (MN-08) - Robert Dold (IL-10) - Jeff Flake (AZ-06) - Nan Hayworth (NY-19) Tim Johnson (IL-15) - Steve LaTourette (OH-14) - Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) - Bob Turner (NY-09) - Allen West (FL-22) Ben Nelson (NE-SEN)
Friday, December 7, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Might it be prudent for Republicans to acquiesce, for now, to a modified version of Obama’s proposal to keep current income tax rates the same for 98 percent of Americans, while also insisting on maintaining the reduced payroll tax rate of the last two years (see “The GOP’s Payroll Tax Opportunity” above) and reversing the dangerous defense sequester? That deal would be doable, wouldn’t wreck the country, and would buy Republicans time to have much needed internal discussion and debates about where to go next.
Nope, can’t be done! There’s a pledge, you see, enforced by a stern and precise pledge-master who would be very, very upset if members of Congress were to have the presumption to unshackle themselves. As our modern-day Angelo (the original can be found in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure) put it last week, “Everybody who signed the pledge, including Peter King, who tried to weasel out of it, shame on him. . . . I hope his wife understands the commitments last a little longer than two years or something.”
Well, perhaps this evidence that their pledge-master has, shall we say, lost some perspective on life will help Republicans think for themselves. After all, surely Republican members of Congress understand there’s something crazy about appearing to fight to the death for a tax code in which Mitt Romney and others pay a 14 percent tax on millions of capital income—while silently allowing the payroll tax on labor to go up from 13.3 percent to 15.3 percent for all the working stiffs?
By the way, why isn’t allowing the payroll tax to go up a violation of the pledge? Well, we’re told, that cut was temporary. But weren’t the Bush rate cuts temporary too? Isn’t that why we’re going over the fiscal cliff—because we revert to the permanent rates on January 1? No, because apparently in the murky metaphysics of the plutocratic pledge-master, some temporary tax cuts are less temporary than others.
Monday, December 3, 2012
It's quite simple: House Republicans would allow a vote on extending the Bush middle class tax cuts (the bill passed in August by the Senate) and offer the president nothing more -- no extension of the debt ceiling, nothing on unemployment, nothing on closing loopholes. Congress would recess for the holidays and the president would face a big battle early in the year over the debt ceiling.
Two senior Republican elected officials say this Doomsday Plan is becoming the most likely scenario. A top GOP House leadership aide confirms the plan is under consideration, but says Speaker Boehner has made no decision on whether to pursue it.
Under one variation of the plan, House Republicans would allow a vote on extending only the middle class tax cuts and Republicans, to express disapproval at the failure to extend all tax cuts, would vote "present" on the bill, allowing it to pass entirely on Democratic votes.
By doing this, Republicans avoid taking blame for tax increases on 98 percent of income tax payers. As one senior Republican in Congress told me, "You don't take a hostage you aren't willing to shoot." Republicans aren't willing to kill the middle class tax cuts, even if extending them alone will make it harder to later extend tax cuts on the wealthy.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Rep. Peter King said his wife would take a swing at Grover Norquist if she ever met the anti-tax activist, upping the ante in a running battle over tax policy that has so far been limited to vivid rhetoric.
“The fact that he brought my wife into it – I don’t think he’s ever met me, certainly he’s never met my wife,” King, a New York Republican, said in an interview with POLITICO LIVE on Wednesday. “And he better hope he doesn’t. She’ll knock his head off.”
Norquist had suggested in an interview earlier in the week that King’s willingness to abandon a “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” should worry Rosemary King – a jab that King thought crossed the line. He told Newsday that Norquist was “being a lowlife” by bringing up the Kings’ marriage.
Both men are known in Washington for speaking with color and candor, and they’ve done just that since King said on last Sunday’s “Meet the Press” that he no longer felt bound to Norquist’s oath against raising taxes.
Norquist has amassed considerable clout over the last couple of decades by managing to get hundreds of Republicans in elective office to sign a controversial pledge vowing never to vote for a tax increase.
But there was growing feeling Sunday that the anti-tax crusader and his pledge were quickly becoming irrelevant as several party bigwigs said they would abandon the vow and analysts openly questioned his continued relevance.
"Grover Norquist is an impediment to good governing," Republican political strategist Matthew Dowd told ABC television's "This Week" program.
"The only good thing about Grover Norquist is, he's named after a character from 'Sesame Street,'" Dowd said.
Republican Rep. Tom Cole urged colleagues in a private session Tuesday to vote to extend the Bush tax rates for all but the highest earners before the end of the year — and to battle over the rest later.
The Oklahoma Republican said in an interview with POLITICO that he believes such a vote would not violate Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge and that he’s not alone within Republican circles.
At a meeting of the House GOP whip team earlier in the day, he made the case that Republicans would strengthen their position by joining hands with President Barack Obama now to give most taxpayers what he calls “an early Christmas present” of ensuring their taxes don’t go up on Jan. 1.
Cole’s position is striking because he’s hardly a “squish” — Norquist’s term for a weak-kneed lawmaker — when it comes to Republican orthodoxy. Cole served as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and in other official posts within the party.