November 11th, 2010
03:20 PM ET
12 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. Indy

    Say What- Yes he always looks like a schvincter about to explode, his face is forever damaged from saying the word NO for two years straight.
    Are we suppose to be impressed that this socialist that likes to give to the rich is "Willing to Listen"to the boss of the free world ? His ego is beyond comprehension and I would expect that he will do nothing if it means any sort of compromise to his party's favorite pastime of doing nothing for anyone but filthy rich freinds

    November 11, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. stevetall

    Hey Mitch, it's about time that you started acting like a statesman. There's nothing wrong with taxes, especially taxing the people who benefit most from our society–The rich. They're just lucky that we don't lynch them instead. They take the most from our society, are the most reluctant when it comes to contributing to society, and contrary to popular belief, they don't create the most jobs. Hard-working small business owners like me do. Why, I dream about making enough money to pay higher tax rates!

    November 11, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Jen Randle MO

    @4&Door: Raising taxes? My taxes went down, but then again, I'm part of the middle class that doesn't seem to have a voice in this mess. How have the Bush Tax cuts created jobs so far? They ARE in place now....what's the difference? Explain please. It will cost, what, 4 trillion to keep them in place...where do we make that up? Where are those jobs, GOP? Quit sticking to the empty talking points and provide real solutions, not the same old worn out GOP crap.

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

    He needs to be willing to listen rather than just block everything for the last two years. Both parties are what have us into this mess. I hope that in time we can vote them all out of office with independent candidates or candidates that don't have ties to big business.

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

    The rich don't pay taxes. Only the little people do.

    November 11, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Right Leaning Independent

    Stop all the jealousy and hating on the rich!! Rich people spend money which translates into......job creation!!! It is not fair that they should shoulder a greater portion of the tax burden for being successful. Go after the rich folks that hide behind tax shelters that prevent them from paying any taxes!!! If all of you folks like the idea of paying more taxes, I am certain the government will accept any extra money you want to send them!!!

    November 11, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Poston

    Its a good change from the Obama administrations cram it down our throat method but then I guess the election was a wake up call to work together.

    November 11, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Dyan

    If anyone is truly serious about decifict reduction, then extending the tax cut on the richest 2% of America is a no-brainer. It has to go!!!! The fact that the Republicans and any Democrats pushing for those tax cuts shows that the tea party movement was used and manipulated for political gain.

    Tax cuts aren't free and the money must come from somewhere. Bush never paid for them and instead allowed them to balloon our decifict. Obama and the Republicans are posed to do the same. So my question to the Tea Party is this........ are you ready to put your words into action?

    November 11, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. Bill

    worst senator ever

    November 11, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. anthony

    Four and the Door,

    Adding 3.8 trillion dollars to the national debt so that people can have the Bush tax cuts is going to kill us in the long run. Nobody is against tax cuts. As long as Republicans can tell me where the 3.8 trillion dollars will come from, even Democrats will support the Bush tax cuts.

    November 11, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Bill

    there ARE NO RICH PEOPLE IN KENTUCKY... why does he care?

    November 11, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. gary

    I voted for Obama and really believed in maybe he could change washington. Unless he puts some starch in his spine and stands up, instead of worrying about his re-election, he has lost my vote in 2012. Extending these tax cuts will not create any jobs in this country. Pass laws that will place hugh taxes on any US company that manufacture products in their overseas facilities and then ship the products back to the US for sale. US companies will continue to outsource jobs overseas where a worker will turn a screwdriver for $ 1.00 per hour instead of keeping the plant in the US where a worker doing the same job wants $ 30.00 per hour. Or, the government could not allow any product made overseas by a US company to be inported into the US. This would never work because the majority of all members of the house and senate are paid to much by the lobbyists, as these members main job is to make the wealthy richer. One term limit for any elected office, state and federal, is the only way to go. Not a single member of congress gives a crap about the working class.

    November 11, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. Wes B.

    People act like this would be a tax hike on the rich. Actually, it's not. It's just going to the same spot it was.

    It's like going to the store because something's on sale. Well, after the sale ends, guess what? You get to pay the higher price. They didn't raise the price. The lower (sale) price just expired.

    Quit your crying, rich people, and pay up. It's not like you can't afford it.

    And for all the politicians saying, "If we let the tax cuts expire, then it will discourage these people from hiring, etc." is just me, or have things pretty much sucked the last few years despite all these rich people getting tax cuts.

    It makes no sense to be in a crap-hole and push so hard to keep things the same.

    Logic, my friends, has completely gone out the window.

    November 11, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. sillyboy

    just let the tax break expires. this is not even part of the tax system in the first place. the fact that we are having the tax break now (and in the past 10 years) meaning we are simply borrowing money from the next generation. This is no difference than putting more burden in our future. Enduring the pain and difficulty now will ensure we will come out fine in the future. I undrestand everyone is going through tough times right now, but the priority should be on reducing the deflicit and the debt of the government from all frontiers or else we don't even need to talk about the future because there will be no future in this country otherwise.

    November 11, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Chas in Iowa

    In light of the financial situation, I as a taxpayer would be supportive of letting all the tax cuts expire. I can do my part to help the effort to correct the course.
    I believe the rich folks should do the same.

    November 11, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. RapierEdge

    Most of the posters here don't seem to "get it". Either the current tax rates need to remain the same for everyone, or we need to let all the cuts expire. If you think the job market is bad now, wait till you see what it's like it the higher brackets loose the current tax rate. Oh, and Carl Justus, letting it expire for the 200+/250+ people will affect far more than your 2 examples (who arguably are the 2 richest men in the world). Just look at how many of those government employees with 150K+ incomes will start seeing the crunch.

    November 11, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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