Republicans reject president's call to include tax revenues in debt deal
June 29th, 2011
07:18 PM ET
7 years ago

Republicans reject president's call to include tax revenues in debt deal


(CNN)–Republican congressional leaders Wednesday rejected President Barack Obama's call to include tax revenues as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Obama said at a White House press conference Wednesday that he's already made concessions to significantly cut spending for government programs. In return, he said, Republicans should now accept proposals to end corporate tax subsidies, such as those given to oil and gas companies or tax breaks for hedge fund managers.

The president tried to label Republicans as more interested in protecting special interests than getting a deal done before the U.S. defaults on its financial obligations later this summer. He singled out one tax break that gives corporations a deduction for buying company planes.

"You'll still be able to ride on your corporate jet. You'll just have to pay a little more." Obama said.

But House Speaker John Boehner flatly dismissed any proposal that would add revenues to a debt limit agreement.

"The president is sorely mistaken if he believes a bill to raise the debt ceiling and raise taxes would pass the House," Boehner said in a written statement.

Boehner repeated his position that any deal to up the nation's borrowing authority must include spending cuts greater than the amount the debt limit is raised, reforms to control spending over the long term and be "free from tax hikes."

"The longer the president denies these realities, the more difficult he makes this process," Boehner stated.

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, criticized the president's push to raise revenue, saying it would hurt struggling businesses.

"With a fragile economy, tax hikes on our job-creators in the name of debt reduction is bad policy, especially since our debt crisis is fueled by unsustainable spending," Hatch said.

Republicans across Capitol Hill acknowledged that they could consider ending some corporate subsidies, but insisted that these should not be negotiated in a bill to raise the debt limit, but as part of a broader tax reform effort that would lower corporate tax rates.

As Obama called for GOP leaders to give up "sacred cows" to get a deal, he also leveled a direct slap at the GOP-led House for failing to remain in Washington to work on a debt deal.

"They're in one week. They're out one week. And then they're saying 'Obama's gotta step in ...' You need to be here. I've been here. I've been doing Afghanistan, bin Laden and the Greek crisis and you stay here," Obama said, adding, "Let's get it done."

The House follows a schedule of alternating its work weeks, with two weeks in session in Washington and one week back in congressional districts. A spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who sets the House schedule, pushed back, saying it's time for the president to show leadership. But he also indicated the House could change its schedule.

"It's time for the president to stop lecturing and start doing his job. As always, the House will be here if and when needed," Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring told CNN.

But multiple GOP aides said the president's criticism of Congress was purely a political move, since the final parameters of any agreement are expected to be hammered out by a small group of top congressional leaders, including Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell. Those discussions don't require Congress to be in session.

After Obama's press conference, a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide told CNN that Democrats were discussing the possibility of cancelling their planned weeklong recess for the July 4th holiday. And a group of Senate Republicans led by freshman Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, called on Reid to keep the Senate in session next week.

"Our country is going bankrupt. We shouldn't be going home on a holiday," Johnson said. "So we're here today to say we should get back in session but not just to be in session; we need to come back in session in the United States Senate and actually start addressing the problem."

The House is scheduled to return to Washington next Wednesday.

Filed under: Debt • John Boehner • Orrin Hatch • Taxes
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Brandon

    Even the Teapublilcan's hero, Ronald Reagan, raised taxes to increase revenue. Actually more than once. So much for their hypocritical loyalty to The Gipper.

    June 29, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. GOP = Greed Over People

    "The president tried to label Republicans as more interested in protecting special interests than getting a deal done before the U.S. defaults on its financial obligations"

    President Obama was not trying to "label" the GOP, merely pointing out that their singular, stated agenda is for "America to fail"!

    June 29, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The rich aren't broke so what does Boehner and the rest of the GOP care. Have you heard the rich say they are broke, no, in fact they have become richer thanks to the Republicans continuing the Bush era tax cuts. When the rich say they are broke, that's the time you will know the country is broke. Think about it.

    June 29, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. A weary Independent

    If the American people are stupid enough to vote for republicans, they deserve what they will get. Only the super rich and the super poor will survive. No more middle class.

    June 29, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Seattle Sue

    Republicans are too radical to believe. Here Mr. Orange and his gang are telling us again how cutting the working class and giving big tax breaks to the wealthy will create jobs. What a snow job. We have been through ten years of tax cuts and look at unemployment figures. Don't try to tell me all this unemployment began January 20, 2009. Eight years of Bush and he is credited with creating 1.1 million jobs, and all you people that hate Jimmy Carter, are you aware he credited with creating 10.3 million jobs in just 4 years?

    June 29, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. BATNA

    Mr. President –

    Expect the GOP to fight dirty. The House may try to send you an 11th hour bill with only their attributes.

    What is your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement ? What are you doing to change it?

    June 29, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. Texas Doc

    It should be pretty clear to everyone by now that the GOP only cares about the rich. Not the Tea Party, not Latinos, not Blacks, not the poor, nobody but the rich. Let them have that 1% voting block and the rest of us get serious about fixing the country we have left. Do the right thing, save America, reject the GOP.

    June 29, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. John

    Boehner and todays republicans are enemies of the people. Bought and paid for and do not even try to hide it any more.

    June 29, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |

    The Republicans are being unreasonable considering it's the policies they so embraced that got us in this mess from the start. This is not Obama's fault. No, the fault lies with the republican and their past policies. FACT.
    Republicans, my words to you; Stop being butt holes and get the job done using some other methods than those which have continue to FAIL us for eight years. C,mon....I will not forget this come 2012. You Betcha!

    June 29, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  10. scott

    Politics,politics,politics as we somewhat try to pretend to try to fix the debt problems of our country you sometimes here of a work manager who will break the law and lock employees in to work against their will just like the political arena of this country is doing to the average american term limits for all of congress would keep the problems of the country fresh enough to get things done in a manner that would keep our country headed in the right direction for a long time to come the problem is those who would have to pass these term limits would be in effect ending their jobs sonner rather than later no sane person wants to be poor or poverty stricken as the people in washington get richer on the backs of the american worker with help from big corperations who are willing to pay them to keep the same laws in effect ,i ask why would a person want to pass a law for term limits?

    June 29, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    tax hikes on our job creators?? WHAT FREAKING JOB CREATORS???? The Bush tax cuts have been in effect for over 10 years now and to date we have close to 10% unemployment and the jobs that have been created have been done mostly since Obama has been in office, at least the ones in America have. Meanwhile the job creators aren't hiring but making profits and giving it to their CEOs. The GOP wants to twist the words like the president wants to raise taxes on everybody. Far from true, he wants to do it to the ones that can most afford it. Practically every economist asked, even some that lean to the right say that tax cuts do not create jobs. Perhaps the GOP feels if you tell a lie long enough people will believe it's true. Almost 70% of us when last polled aren't falling for it anymore.

    June 29, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  12. Dark Drew

    Accept certain inalienable truths:
    Prices will rise.
    Politicians will philander.
    And you too will get Old.

    June 29, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  13. duke13

    Set the tax structure where it was when Clinton was in office, close the tax loopholes, end the never ending wars NOW would be a good start.

    If the GOP blocks raising the debt ceiling and raising taxes they will pay for it heavily in the 2012 elections.

    June 29, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. Jeetu

    So, republicans, who do you represent in Washington DC? Most Americans favor raising taxes on the richest and also to close the tax loopholes. Then, why are you so insistent to reward the richest at the cost of the country? Is saving your job and winning elections more important than serving and helping Americans? You seem to be acting in an un-American manner an d seem not care for people. I think we should start impeachment proceedings against all these republicans who ignore the will of the people who elected them.

    Thus, I propose we start a petition to call back all these republicans whose only goal is to win the elections and blame everything on Obama. Then, perhaps they will wake up and act in a responsible manner.

    June 29, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  15. Four and The Door

    Republicans across Capitol Hill acknowledged that they could consider ending some corporate subsidies, but insisted that these should not be negotiated in a bill to raise the debt limit, but as part of a broader tax reform effort that would lower corporate tax rates.
    ...and this is a main point that people should understand. Specific chasing select businesses that are doing well right now with tax laws would be a hack way of running a government. It would actually be just politicians chasing poll numbers. So if the business tax system is not meeting the needs then fix the system, not select little corners of it. That's what needs to be done and that's what the Republicans will participate in. Do it intelligently, not as a knee-jerk reaction to current public sentiment. As a country, America is better than that.

    June 29, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. Les

    The repugs just don't understand that we, the people, will eliminate them all for their absolutely criminal and greedy behavior in all future elections.

    June 29, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    The HELL NO CAUCUS in both the House and the Senate are in for a rude awakening in 2012. We put the repubs in office on a promise of jobs jobs jobs, and they've done NOTHING. They will lose big-time in 2012. Close to 70% of the U.S. Voting citizens want tax loopholes closed and taxes raised for at least the top 2%. WE WILL VOTE THEM OUT -- AGAIN.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    June 29, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  18. james

    The Repubs position on taxes is untenable. In this day and time with our economy in the tank, it`s INSANE not to increase taxes on the very wealthy individuals and oil companies whom we all know can afford it. This is a blatant example of the pure unadulterated Repub greed that runs rampant in DC. If most of these DC "public servants" were on the street, they would be called whores.---- Actually, I respect whores more.

    June 29, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  19. roscoe

    Just remember Boner, when you wreck the economic recovery by going back on the USA's promise to pay its debt, you make the republican party the party of freeloaders who won't pay their bills.

    June 29, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  20. roscoe

    Will he be crying when gives into and passes the debt ceiling hike?

    June 29, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    "With a fragile economy, tax hikes on our job-creators ......................

    WHAT JOBS?? Those cuts have been in place for 10 years and we were losing 750,000 jobs per month during the latter years of that time. Orrin Hatch has Alzheimers!!!

    June 29, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    One thing is certain.......raising revenue, without controlling spending, is going to accomplish nothing, because we have a spendthrift in the WH.

    June 29, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  23. Really?

    Really, the GOP has no problem sticking it to the middle class with cuts, but they can't bring themselves to stop handing out corporate welfare to the likes of the oil companies. How can anyone support this stupidity? I say fine let the GOP hold up the debt ceiling and see what happens. When the economy tanks further. Then the GOP can explain why. Oh and I'm still waiting to see that job creation we were promised by the GOP during midterms. They promised jobs and I have yet to even see a plan from the right, never mind actual jobs.

    June 29, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  24. Larry L

    The Republicans don't mind sacrifice, as long as it only impacts the poor, middle class, and elderly. I'm thinking the oil companies tax subsidies is simply a payback for their political contributions – like a patriotic investment! And maybe the tax break for executive jets is the least we can do for the fat cats who shipped all of the jobs offshore! Seriously, I've come to believe the Republican Party is evil. Their control by the radical right-wing is absolutely frightening. They are willing to destroy to United States of America to gain political control. That's scary. They are the American Taliban.

    June 29, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  25. tr

    Pathetic. Totally pathetic GOP. You wouldn't want to burden your corporate overlords now would you. Subidies to big oil? I mean really you want to protect subidies to big oil? Cuz their hurtin! And and those poor corporate hedge fund managers who play russian roulette with people' s lives. Yeah I"m worried about them. But you sure have no problem stickin it to the little guy. You want to solve the debt problem. Cut spending and increase revenue! Cutting spending only keeps us from ADDING to the debt. Now how you gonna get rid of it!

    June 29, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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