Forty House Republicans sign letter encouraging Super Committee to consider new revenues

posted at 10:12 pm on November 3, 2011 by Allahpundit

I’m a day late on this but it’s too intriguing not to blog. You can read the actual letter, which is exceedingly tame, on Mike Simpson’s website. Among the signatories: …Ron Paul.

The bad news? If this happens, some people might be paying a little more. The good news? We’ll never have to read another “time for a grand bargain” column from Tom Friedman again. Dude, I think we should take the deal.

A group of 40 House Republicans for the first time Wednesday encouraged Congress’s deficit reduction committee to explore new revenue as part of a broad deal that would make a major dent in the nation’s debt, joining 60 Democrats in a rare bipartisan effort to urge the “supercommittee” to reach a big deal that could also include entitlement cuts…

Among those who signed were several dozen Republicans who had previously signed a pledge promising they would not support a net tax increase. Among the Democratic signers were some of the House’s most liberal members who have opposed entitlement cuts…

Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio) said if he had a nickel for every one of the Republicans who said they supported the letter’s goal but feared how [Americans for Tax Reform President Grover] Norquist would react, “I’d be rich and retired, and we’d have 200 signatures on the letter.”…

[S]everal Republicans who signed the letter were careful to note they were not endorsing a net tax increase — but rather a broad rewrite of the tax code that might close loopholes and lower rates, while still producing more government revenue.

Even more intriguingly, Boehner himself came out today and said “I think there is room for revenues” in the Super Committee’s work while emphasizing that the GOP will only tolerate so much. When his staff was asked where, pray tell, these new revenues would be coming from, an aide suggested “increasing government fees, selling government assets and raising co-payments in government healthcare programs.” I.e. no tax hikes. So that’s that, right?

Maybe not:

Six members of a congressional “super committee” have struck out on their own in a new effort to come up with a plan to slash America’s huge deficits before a November 23 deadline…

Aides stressed that the six lawmakers are still in talks with the full super committee and have not splintered off. Instead, they are making an internal effort to try to broker a bipartisan deal.

Significantly, at least two Republican members of the smaller group are willing to consider revenue increases as part of a deficit-reduction plan, one of the congressional aides and a source with direct knowledge of the talks said.

Remember, the Super Committee only needs seven votes to approve a plan; there are six Democrats and six Republicans participating, so either one of those two unnamed GOPers who are open to new revenues could trigger some sort of “grand bargain” proposal involving entitlement reform. And if you’ve got six Democrats agreeing to entitlement reform, they’re going to want something more than “increasing government fees” in return. James Clyburn, one of the Democrats on the Committee, is talking about getting rid of some deductions, but whether that would pass muster with the GOP is unclear. Thirty-three Republican senators sent a letter of their own to the Super Committee today warning them away from trying to raise revenues. Whether they can get the rest of the caucus to go along and join a filibuster might depend on what Boehner and the House GOP do if/when a “grand bargain” makes it to the floor. As it is, Time magazine quotes a Senate source who puts the odds of the Super Committee deadlocking at 75 percent, up from 70 just two weeks ago. Watch this clip of Pat Toomey, another Committee member, talking about the current stalemate and you’ll think that estimate is too low.

Here’s Boehner today doing his “Grover who?” shtick after being asked about revenues. Exit question: It’s probably not a good sign for fiscal conservatives that members of Congress are already working to undo the automatic spending cuts that’ll be triggered if the Committee deadlocks, huh?

Breaking on Hot Air



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They never talk about spending cuts. Never. Only taking more of our money.

conservative pilgrim on November 4, 2011 at 6:56 AM

A group of 40 House Republicans for the first time Wednesday encouraged Congress’s deficit reduction committee to explore new revenue as part of a broad deal that would make a major dent in the nation’s debt

Retarded quotes for retarded Washington Post readers.

And Hot Air continues to link “news” sources that can’t tell the difference between deficits and debt because…?

Credibility is everything.

MNHawk on November 4, 2011 at 7:23 AM

Always count on:

1. The Rs to disappoint you

2. Boehner to be weak

3. Ron Paul to be in the foolish group

4. Taxes to be called ‘revenue’

5. Obama to be a demonic weasel

Schadenfreude on November 3, 2011 at 10:45 PM

6. Obama to be re-elected … for life…

Friendly21 on November 4, 2011 at 7:25 AM

Oh, what the hell. It’s gotta be said.

The GOP will betray you.

– True King

Good Lt on November 4, 2011 at 7:37 AM

The Tea Party HAS to get more members in Congress.

The “Old Guard”, like Boehner, has to be replaced. They’ve been totally compromised.

RADIOONE on November 4, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Well we better know which forty rinos sent that letter so we can primary them. They are cowards.

eaglewingz08 on November 4, 2011 at 8:15 AM

rinos… They are cowards.

Isn’t that redundant?

oldleprechaun on November 4, 2011 at 8:26 AM

50% of wage earners pay less than 4% of the income tax burden. There is lots of room for new revenues!

Karmi on November 4, 2011 at 8:35 AM

I am all for new taxes if it comes from the 47% of the workforce that doesn’t pay any. As a matter of fact lets tax food stamps, unemployment benefits and every other welfare transfer people are currently enjoying. We may not raise any money but it sure will cause the welfare class to get off their asses and back into the game. Oh yeah, two more area to tax……wipe out all green subsidies and make unions taxable entities given the fact they are partisan political toolbags for BO.

David in ATL on November 4, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Compromise means we lose and they win.

Kissmygrits on November 4, 2011 at 9:12 AM

I say we find a strong primary competitor for Boehner. Is it too late to enter someone in that race? We need to make an example out of him.

jeffn21 on November 4, 2011 at 9:12 AM

The Tea Party HAS to get more members in Congress.

The “Old Guard”, like Boehner, has to be replaced. They’ve been totally compromised.

RADIOONE on November 4, 2011 at 8:12 AM

I’m waiting for Mitch McConnell to suggest we just make Obama king so nobody can ever again blame the GOP for anything.

JellyToast on November 4, 2011 at 9:16 AM

How is this “Supercommittee” even Constitutional? As it happens, I support modest, across-the-board tax increases, but only in conjunction with drastic across-the-board spending cuts at a ratio of about 1:4 or 1:5.

The problem, as always, is that the Republicans never seem to learn that you can’t win playing rochambeau with the Democrats. You’ll get kicked in the nuts and they’ll walk away. So tell the donkeys you’re open to tax increases after the ink dries on the president’s signature for the deep spending cuts.

Cuts first.

SAMinVA on November 4, 2011 at 9:20 AM

I can’t stand this new “revenues” garbage. They really think we’re idiots.

SirGawain on November 4, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Increase revenue but decreasing money spend funding illegals. of course you could also do away with the IRS then the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by companies dealing with them would show up under revenue and be taxed. How about letting new and old businesses thrive and then pay taxes on that revenue. Oh Yeah, I am all for increasing revenue!

rgranger on November 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM

How is this “Supercommittee” even Constitutional?

The constitution allows each chamber to establish its own rules on how legislation is passed.

Both chambers agreed to the committee and its charter; the constitutional requirement has been met.

It sucks, I know. I’m guessing folks like Jefferson never thought the Congress would vote away its power like this.

BobMbx on November 4, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I want the names of those 40 Republicans. They’re on my list for primary defeat.

Raising revenue is not wrong, it’s insane. The federal budget did not exceed $1 trillion until 2002 or so. The government takes in more than $2 trillion each year in revenue already. If we cannot run a government on $2 trillion a year, we need to cancel America and become Costa Ricans.

Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi combined to drive annual spending close to $4 trillion. What needs to happen is that their entire effort needs to be undone, as a starting point. That will bring the budget back below $3 trillion. Then we need to freeze government spending at 2000 levels. That will bring it below $1 trillion. THEN we need to start talking about tossing Medicaid and Social Security into the dumpster where they belong, and replacing them with plans based on personal responsibility. Anything less drastic, and we’ll be holding a funeral for the dollar in a year or three.

I take it back. I don’t want to defeat these Republicans in a primary. They should be taken out and shot in the head… along with every Democrat.

philwynk on November 4, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Who here doesn’t know that the debt ceiling deal already includes $4 trillion in new taxes?

Who remembers Romney’s position on this the day the deal was signed?

Who remembers Ed Morrissey position on this deal?

Who remembers who it was that called the overall process of the deal a “Victory” because it changed the debate? (hint: her name rhymes with Sara Palin)

elfman on November 4, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Boehner has bought both swampland and the Brooklyn Bridge.

The way the “committee” was chartered, it was DESIGNED to FAIL…so that Obama could unilaterally impose “cuts” and tax increases.

This was so obvious from the very start that there is only one word for those Republicans who signed on to this: SUCKERS!!!

landlines on November 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM