Republicans reject president's call to include tax revenues in debt deal
June 29th, 2011
07:18 PM ET
12 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. Ray E. Georgia

    Aw Yes,
    Let's Tax the Rich people to death and hand it to those who won't work. Just like the Housing Pipe Dream. I say it is time to play Hardball. The House needs to send a Complete Bill to the President for the next Fiscal year that Cancels, Obama Care, Extends the Bush Tax Cuts for 10 years, cuts Entitlements by at least 10 percent and only raises the debt limit to equal cuts in the Budget. If that can't be signed into Law then lets have Re call elections and let the people decide if they want to send this country down the drain. Have it out once and for all.

    June 29, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. DrJStrangepork

    No matter what... The debt is American debt, and spending cuts are not going to fix the whole fast enough. Taxes will have to increase probably for everyone. I don't like it, but that is the situation. Might have something to do with 3 different wars and the lowest tax rate since the 1950's.

    June 29, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. Scott

    Hang tough Republicans, do not let this corrupt regime of Obama's try to push anything, Higher taxes that really makes sense, Obama and the Demo-Craps wants to raise taxes, let illegal immigrants in this country, force people to buy insurance, run up the national debt. They are destroying this country.

    June 29, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. unretired05

    The Republicans don't want the wealthy constituents to quit bribing err uuuh I mean supporting them.

    June 29, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. Matt

    Republicans refuse to cooperate with the president?
    I am shocked.

    June 29, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  6. Anthony

    Boehner is sorely mistaken if he believes the Wall Street would allow the Republican Party to crash the markets and take the economy with it by forcing the government to default. Actually, he knows how the Wall Street people think. He has already reached out to them about how long the House can delay raising the debt ceiling without spooking the financial markets. Their answer: don't even think about it. Pushing close to the deadline — or talking about it — could have grave consequences in the marketplace.

    “They (referring to the Congress) don’t seem to understand that you can’t put everything back in the box. Once that fear of default is in the markets, it doesn’t just go away. We’ll be paying the price for years in higher rates,” said one Wall Street executive to a reporter from Politico.

    Boehner is playing a game of political chicken. He is using the full faith and credit of the United States as a hostage to force Democrats to cut the spending (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) Republicans don't like. The spending they like (military) and their tax cuts are off-limits. He forgets one thing, though. Americans do not like hostage takers. Remember 9/11?

    June 29, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  7. Willie O Endsley Sr

    how can congress keep a straight face when asking what can they do about medicare the taxes on each indiviual is only a buck forty-five ($1.45) on every $100 a person makes so up it 3 times to $3.35 on every $100 who would fit about paying less than $5.00 out of every $100 dollars they make and stop putting a max on of $102,000 surely if they make over 100,000 they shouldn't mind paying of total of $10.00 ovut of each 100 additional they make over $102,000 great day you want even know they deducted it since you should be able to live comfortable out of the first $100,000 you made.

    June 29, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  8. Willie O Endsley Sr

    that's 4.35

    June 29, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. James Shoemaker

    The President today said Republicans will have a hard time to explain why

    corp get tax breaks for jets. mmm, let’s see...

    the Corp jet is used to fly around the world to sell a product that people

    produce and support. So the people lets say the tax break is $100,000 and let’s say said corp hires 1000 people making say $30,000-100,000 a year. And let’s not forget the company that made the jet the corp bought it from and let’s not forget the people that where hired to maintain the jet and the airport staff to help the air plan land and take off and pay the airport tax. And you could go on & on. This tax break was Created by your own Stimulus plan Mr President and was one of the right things that should be in a stimulus plan.

    So, Mr. President give the “rich” a tax break and gain at least 2 times as much back in taxes from people working or

    Kill the tax break to save $100,000 and put 1000 or more people out of a job . I would love to debate this issue with you but I am sure you’re too busy to take on an average Person that did not go to an ivory league school and by the way the thing that is Marxist is your policies and the democrats spending us in to nowhere and creating a big regulatory government. Mm big Government seems like a Marxist idea. I think history has proven that that fails every time but I may not know since I have not gone to all those big fancy Schools.

    Oh wait I get it the Federal Reserve wants us to borrow more so they can make more money privately. Why do they

    call it a Federal Reserve? It is not Federal and it is no longer a reserve. Who is on the Federal Reserve board? Why do they have more control of the government than me and where does it say in the constitution that they can even exist. Oh I know let see what the Federalist Papers say ! oh wait, that is old they had no idea what a bank was so never mind 😉

    June 29, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  10. TJ

    How about this as a compromise...
    Step one- Cut spending to halt the growth of the deficit. Quit making the hole deeper.
    Step two- Raise income tax (as opposed to capital gains tax) on top 2%, and put all toward deficit reduction- those individuals who took the most out of the hole have the responsibility for putting the most back in to fill it.
    Step three- Tie the capital gains tax rate for individual businesses to how many new jobs they've created- the more they create, the lower their capital gains rate goes. The increase in revenue can then be either invested in the business or paid out as dividends to shareholders, leading to increases in stock value, which gives the owners more value for their shares- and increases tax revenue through increased employment.

    Could it work? I don't know- I'm just an average American, not some highly-trained politician. But it makes sense to me.

    June 29, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. D-Nice

    They might as well go home, they won't get anything done anyway. They all suck!! Can someone tell Boehner that a compromise is when two sides give up concessions. Why does Boehner think that the republicans should not have to give anything up? It must be like arguing with a 2 year old.

    June 29, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  12. GoBamaMan

    "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."

    President Obama sure sounds like a leader to me. Too bad that the Repugs don't show him due respect. They are only interested in bringing him down, even though it brings down our country as well. Don't sell out our country's future and elections to the likes of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers. Why should we protect their billions while they send our jobs overseas?

    June 29, 2011 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. SecedingfromTexas

    Eric Cantor: "It's time for the President to show leadership". Sorry, Buster, that doesn't wash, he is the ONLY
    person who has shown leadership from the Executive Branch. You, on the other hand are conceding there is
    no leadership from the House side of the Legislative Branch. THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH, you know, those of
    you who pass laws, etc. Instead your petulance and inability to act like a man causes you to walk out of a
    meeting because you don't know how to handle those grown up problems. You are creepy, pathetic, and
    weak to the bone.

    June 29, 2011 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  14. jimm

    It amazes me that they can propose cutting job training funding, alternative energy programs, WIC programs...all of which put money back intio the economy and benefit the poor and middle class, while they refuse to drop the subsidies for oil companies, which make billions of $$ in profit or corporate jets or yachts.

    June 29, 2011 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. Marie MD

    boner, boner, boner, The majority of those Americans you republikans invoke every time you lie about what you are doing WANT TO TAX THE RICH (it's only 3% – they are not going to lose their homes or not be able to put food on the table or not be able to go to a doctor-sort of like congress) and CORPORATIONS so that these companies start bringing jobs (remember JOBS?????) back to the US or don't allow more jobs to go to people in other countries and not here.
    Then there's cantor who is telling the Preisdent to do his job but, like the playground bully having a constipated tantrum, he is the one who walks out of a meeting. I ask again, who in virginia thought this idiot shoul be elected for anything? Glad I live to the north of DC

    June 29, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    Folks, call not your congressman and senators. Call the rethugs office's. They love to hear from somebody who is not even from their lousy state.
    Call boner, cantor, mcconnel, coburn and anyone else who is involved is this game of who blinks first. That is what they udnerstand. They only care to be re elected in 2012. They can't ignore calls and/or e-mails.

    June 29, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  17. Clwyd

    hold your breath too for 5 minutes and see who cares when you ruin the economic gains we have made by becoming even more spoiled brats than you already are. Take yourselves and walk out again! The backlash will be swift and resounding. The death of the republican party is near!

    June 29, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  18. ibamaliar

    One lie after another the President spoke again. About his being here. It hasn't been two weeks he was hop skipping all over Europe on a sight seeing tour at the expense of the taxpayers. If he wants concessions out of the Republicans he must give some himself to get them. This is one more useless man. OH he did no wrong, but his Democrat Congress for the past 5 years did. What a cuthroat. He thought that one lie would cause blame to be laid at the Republicans door. Not knowing the Republicans only have controlled the House since Nov 2010. Where is this man's head at between his legs? THINK MAN THINK or get out of the Oval office.

    June 29, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
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