Last updated: Wednesday, December 5, 4:58 pm
In July, the Senate voted to pass a bill that would extend middle-class tax cuts and allow the tax benefits for the wealthiest 2 percent to expire. The House has refused to allow a vote on that bill. As Leader Pelosi said at the time, “Make no mistake: with the Senate’s action, House Republicans are the only roadblocks standing between the middle class and a tax cut bill that the President will sign.”
Following the successful re-election of the President, and strong gains by Democrats in the House and in the Senate, the public sent the clear and unambiguous message that they are in favor of increasing rates on the wealthy to help reduce the deficit and grow our economy.
Now, some members of the House Republican caucus are breaking ranks and supporting the Democratic position:
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK):
“[H]e made the case that Republicans would strengthen their position by joining hands with President Barack Obama now to give most taxpayers what he calls ‘an early Christmas present’ of ensuring their taxes don’t go up on Jan. 1. … ‘I think we ought to take the 98 percent deal right now.’”
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA):
“I have to say that if you’re going to sign me up with a camp, I like what Tom Cole has to say. … Tom presented a very thoughtful, articulate position.”
Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL):
“Tom Cole is talking about passing the ones that are out there so there could be more certainty, and I think that would be a positive step,” he said. “Let’s make sure we aren’t raising the taxes on the vast majority first.”
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC):
“[He would] be willing to pass the Senate bill to ensure 98 percent of taxpayers don’t get hit with a hike. ‘I would probably vote for it at that point,’ Jones said.”
Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX):
Separately, Representative Kay Granger of Texas is endorsing Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole’s call to extend all tax cuts for middle-class earners as “just the right thing to do.”
In addition, Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) indicated he’d be supportive of a middle class tax cuts bill. “No question, if we go over the fiscal cliff and Congress allowed it to happen because we would not let taxes go up on the top 2 percent, that is not a battle we are likely to win,” he said. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) said, “I wouldn’t have a problem with letting those tax rates [on the wealthiest] go up,” provided they are coupled with spending cuts.
Moreover, “another senior Republican lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters” that the Senate bill could pass his chamber if it got to the floor. Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) said the same thing.
On Monday, Dec. 3rd, ABC’s Jon Karl reported that two senior Republican members told him they were pondering a plan to allow the middle-class tax cuts bill to pass.
As Leader Pelosi said, “this should be not be a cliffhanger.” We need a House vote on the middle class tax cuts now.