Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) has indicated that voting to raise taxes on those making over $250,000 would not violate the anti-tax Taxpayer Protection Pledge he signed.
“I don’t see that as a violation of my pledge,” Cole said of Grover Norquist’s famed pledge.
Cole urged other Republicans to take “98%” of the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone except those making over $250,000.
Cole argued that Republicans could give voters making less than $250,000 “an early Christmas present” by taking what Obama and Democrats have put on the table and freezing their tax rates. He said that doesn’t mean he agrees with raising taxes on the top 2%.
“I think we ought to take the 98 percent deal right now,” Cole said. “It doesn’t mean I agree with raising the top 2. I don’t.”
Cole believes Republicans cannot allow Obama and Democrats to argue Republicans are protecting just the wealthy; he feels Republicans should make sure the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 are extended and then address any rate hike for those making above $250,000.
“Some people think that’s our leverage in the debate. It’s the Democrats’ leverage in the debate,” Cole said.
If a deal is struck to raise the rate on those making over $250,000, it will be difficult to then lower it later; Senate Democrats have not passed a budget in nearly four years, and Obama has indicated he would veto such legislation.