House Republicans Take Hard Line On Tax Increases
President Barack Obama on Wednesday again said he would not sign any agreement that does not raise the top tax rate, but Republicans in the House steadfastly stood in opposition to raising tax rates on those making over $250,000 in the upcoming "fiscal cliff" negotiations.
Republican leaders will meet with Obama at the White House on Friday, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said Republicans would not accept rate hikes but would work with Obama to find new "revenues" by reducing deductions and eliminating loopholes in the tax code.
According to The Hill, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Congress could not find $1.6 trillion in revenues through deductions and loopholes and insisted the top tax rate had to be raised.
In a press conference late Wednesday, Boehner rejected Obama's demands for the House to pass the Senate bill, which raises the top tax rate.
“I think instead of the House moving on the Senate bill, the Senate ought to move on the House bill,” Boehner said, according to The Hill. The House bill extends the Bush tax cuts for a year for all income brackets.
Boehner insisted "there are ways to put revenues on the table without increasing tax rates."
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, accused Obama of slow-walking the fiscal cliff negotiations to squeeze a deal out of Republicans. Camp said "time is running short" and "we don’t have time to waste on offers that are going nowhere.”
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said Obama was engaging in a "charade" and wanted to take the country over the fiscal cliff in order to blame Republicans.
"It’s going to take a strong, strong coalition of conservatives to hold this together and keep any fiscal responsibility here,” King added. “A lot of this is just going to be a charade by the president just to find a way to blame it on Republicans.”
Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH), the outgoing chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said Obama's plan to raise taxes on those making over $250,000 was not acceptable.
"That is not going to fly, in my judgment, with any of us,” Jordan said.