The Hill published a report Wednesday that ought to warm the hearts of all fiscally responsible Republicans and, perhaps, give hope that GOP Speaker John Boehner will hold to his pledges on taxes during these fiscal cliff talks with the White House.
The D.C. paper reported that Speaker Boehner (R-OH) quickly shot down the tax balloon floated by Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), who recently proposed that the House go with Obama’s idea of passing an immediate extension of the current tax rates for the middle class.
As The Hill further notes, Boehner and the rest of the GOP House leadership are sticking with their own pledge to make sure any fiscal cliff solutions are tied to spending cuts.
Comparing the nation’s spending crisis to a “freight train,” Boehner said “it’s time for the president and Democrats to get serious about the spending problem that our country has.”
The Party’s number three man, Chief deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R, IL) agreed saying, “The White House has not produced any of the balance in the president’s described balanced proposal.”
Others, such as Michael Steel, reiterated the House GOP’s negotiating principle. “We accepted this meeting with the expectation that the White House team will bring a specific plan for real spending cuts,” Steel said, “because spending cuts that Washington Democrats will accept is what is missing from the ‘balanced approach’ that the president says he wants.”
For his part, Cole stuck with his own idea of suggesting that the tax rate renewal come before House Republicans get any other concessions from the Democrats and the President. “I don’t see any advantage in delay,” Cole said. “I think the appropriate thing is to make sure that places where we know we’re not going to raise taxes, we get those taken care of first. I don’t think that somehow weakens our position in negotiations.”
The Hill went on to note that Boehner stood firm and that he disagreed with Cole.
Thus far, John Boehner is standing strong on his insistence that the tax rate renewal be tied inseparably to spending cuts because, in his opinion, we have a national spending problem, not a national tax problem. If Boehner sticks to his guns, he might bring surprise and appreciation from many in his Party.
And in all this, the most amazing thing is that The Hill reported the story straight and in a news-like manner without spinning or warping, nor throwing liberal jabs at anyone involved in this report.