November 11th, 2010
03:20 PM ET
4 years ago

McConnell 'willing to listen' on temporary extension of Bush tax cuts

Washington (CNN) – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who supports making permanent all the Bush-era tax cuts, signaled Thursday he's open to considering compromises with the White House to temporarily extend them instead.

"I'm willing to listen to what the President has in mind for protecting Americans from tax increases," McConnell said.

McConnell issued the statement shortly after White House advisor David Axelrod was quoted suggesting the White House was prepared to accept a temporary extension of tax cuts for both wealthier Americans and the middle class.

McConnell's comments were in contrast to House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio who as recently as Wednesday insisting that all the tax cuts be made permanent.

"I've said this about 500 times," Boehner said at a news conference. "I think expanding all of the current tax rates and making them permanent will reduce the uncertainty in American and help small businesses begin to create jobs again."

Republicans believe that Democrats see their window to negotiate as fairly small because after the first of the year Republicans will have not only control of the House but increased ranks in the Senate.

All Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire Dec. 31st but there are some Republican sources who say if the two sides remain deadlocked, it could be to the Republicans' advantage to let the cuts expire–for what could be a few weeks–and then take the issue up when the new Congress convenes in January.

Still, a senior Republican source says that would be a last resort option and that a more likely scenario is the one Axelrod laid out - a temporary extension for both the middle class and the wealthy.

President Obama and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill have been pushing to make middle class tax cuts permanent and do away with the tax cuts for the wealthy.


Filed under: Mitch McConnell • Taxes
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. ingrid

    Glad he is "willing to listen." Thank you. The government should work together to resolve our nation's crisis rather than one side obstructing everything so as to undermine the president for their own political goals.

    November 11, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. Whatever

    Funny this is the same group that put them in place temporariliy!!! They knew this day would come. Just extend for anyone who makes UNDER $1,000,000 in salary. This would hopefully shut some of the haters down. Well one thing can be said if the banks get into trouble again, they are on their own. FDIC better pay up!

    November 11, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. Len

    Let the expire. Isn't that what the American people voted for last week to cut the deficits? And, that is one of the best ways to do it, since I have yet to see any ideas from the new leadership of the House and there is none from the minority in the Senate.

    November 11, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Dennis in AZ

    The ruse here is someone actually believing that the Middle Class exists anymore. Politicians like Harry Reid and Mithch McConnell, though their resumes may be daunting, are the crux of the problem inside the beltway. These people are playing some sort of mental masturbation game with the American public just because they can and because they love pblicity like dogs love bacon. I'm passed caring what any of them say–and this includes the erroneous grass roots special interest groups on both sides of the aisle. Make as much fun of the Tea Party as you want–they're the only group I've seen that actually represents a genuine interest of the American people. I guess this is why you all feel so threatened by them.

    November 11, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Diane P

    Mitch isn't the President, he isn't even the Senate Majority Leader, the level of arrogance is astounding!!

    November 11, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Peter s

    Obama is the one behaving as an adult on both sides!! Otherwise the President is the only one who cares for this Nation! the rest just offers lip services and throwing tantrums if they don't get candy from the cookie jar

    November 11, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. njfinest2009

    It is about time they start working together for the American people! I hope that this will benefit us all

    November 11, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Texan

    It is time to get started on the "Fire McConnell" campaign for putting his rich friends ahead of the country. The country is facing a deficit and all he can think of his millionaires club.

    November 11, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. SAY WHAT!!!

    Tell me one thing – does this guy look like this or is this just one of his kodak moments?

    November 11, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. Indie Woman in Denver

    Extending the tax cuts above $250k only serves to make the rich get richer; it doesn't do anything about job creation, else we wouldn't be in the pickle we're in and corporations wouldn't continue to send jobs off shore. Ignore lizard lips McConnell. He's already stated his idea of compromise, which is Obama caving in.

    November 11, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. blf83

    He also needs to work WITH rather than against the president. McConnell has no credibility beyond NO.

    November 11, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. S. In California

    Again, the republicans are calling the shots. Mr. President will you please LEAD? I am becoming increasingly upset with the leadership you and the other democrats are providing lately. Has everyone except Nancy Pelosi been placed under a spell? Will you please give us back the Obama of 2008?

    November 11, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Ben in Texas

    To coin a phrase, the Repugnants just don't get it. The election's over. So, where is the plan to cut the deficit? Extending Bush tax cuts is another Repugnant Big Government budget-busting expense. It's a massive federal program to bailout the rich. It's socialism for the rich. It's a government give-away to the rich. It's wealth re-distribution. We can't afford it, and yet the Turtle Man is twisting arms to make sure his special interest friends are served, thanking them for their campaign contributions with a hefty and undeserved tax cut.

    Let all of the cuts expire. They are part of what got us into this mess.

    November 11, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. wtf

    HOW? How are these "Bush-era" tax cuts for the wealthy elite going to make any new jobs possible? Seriously? Anybody know?

    November 11, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Mace

    Its encouraging the President will entertain the idea of extending the tax cuts when he would not even take Republican input for the last two years. Its looks the GOP does not have the same attitude Obama has had when he said, "Elections have consequences and you lost". Looks like we will finally be moving forward with some Hope and Change.

    November 11, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Reggie from LA

    "Willing to listen"? How accommodating. There is no good in that program. Mercy. Who the heck are these people? They have offered nothing and demanded everything. NOTHING voters, except the backs of their hands. Now someone wise up and ask them what is the advantage of having the tax cuts for the wealthy. Here is what the lies are. "It will create jobs". It will not or we'd have them already. Tax cuts exist right now, remember. "It will encourage small businesses to create jobs". Lie. If they have been fearful of the state of the economy, tax cuts will not change that. How? Someone make them tell HOW these cuts will help everyone other than those who financed their campaigns.

    November 11, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Jeff in Virginia

    Why is everybody acting like Mitch McConnell is the new Senate Majority Leader? Pathetic.

    November 11, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. diridi

    this guy is the biggest idiot, that knows nothing....we need senate and congress term limits...wake up, America...so that we can get rid of this junk from junk bin...

    November 11, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    Ben in Texas
    To coin a phrase, the Repugnants just don't get it. The election's over. So, where is the plan to cut the deficit?
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Raising taxes right now will kill jobs. Jobs are good for America, the economy and yes, to help reduce the government deficit. That's a better plan than taxing everyone into the dirt and shutting the lights off.

    November 11, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. Marko

    Looks like Mitch just got fingered in that picture

    November 11, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. Nacho

    Reading this after McConnell said that there will be no compromises is a relief to hear. I hope that this congress can work together, because that's what a lot of people want.

    November 11, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. Whatever

    Where are the elected officials UNDER the age of 50?!?!?!?! Time for new, younger leadership!!!!!!!!!

    November 11, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Oregon Calling

    Let them ALL expire!

    Peace :-)

    November 11, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. catmom

    If Republicans wanted the tax cuts to be permanent then they should have made them permanent when they rammed them through Congress. They did it that way because the tax cuts could not be sustained. Those tax cuts were a way to spend the surplus Bill Clinton left. They were sold to the American people as a way to stimulate the economy and create jobs. You people got all of what $250.00 and were happy. Meanwhile the rich got richer and never did create jobs.

    All of the rhetoric about the deficits and the economy and yet Republicans still want to give major relief to the ones that funded their campaigns. Watch while they go after the programs that benefit you gullible people that voted them back into office. I mean if they even bother because to do anything other than what they have done for the past two years might just make the President look good so they would never allow that, but I digress....

    November 11, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Carl Justus

    This is the most stupid proposal they could come up with. They should not extend the tax cuts for any especially those in the top two tax brackets and I would even go lower than that.
    The average family wage in this country is about 54 thousand dollars and they want to extend the tax cuts for the wealthest say they need it to create jobs.
    Who thinks that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet need tax cuts to create jobs, No one with any brains unless they want to get their pockets filled with cash for the oil and military/induatrial complex executives.
    We are in financial meltdown and no one except the military and their families made any sacrificies for the wars we have fought now for ten years and it time we all pitched in and help out of the mess the idiot from Texas got us in.

    November 11, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
1 2