Two more GOP lawmakers have said they are willing to back tax increases as part of a deal to avert the so-called federal "fiscal cliff" coming Jan. 1. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., both told Sunday talk shows they would be willing to look at tax increases as part of an overall fiscal solution. The caveat for both men was that President Barack Obama and Democrats must examine other parts of the budget such as entitlements.
* The Washington Times quoted both men. Corker spoke with "Fox News Sunday" when he gave "merit" to Obama's plan regarding income tax increases for the top 2 percent of earners. Coburn was on ABC with "This Week" when he warned the president was only looking at "7 percent of the solution" and the White House must deal with "the other 93 percent" of the deficit.
* Meanwhile, the Associated Press reveals Democrats aren't yet looking into overhauling entitlement programs such as Medicare. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., balked at the idea of raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 without further study first. He felt the three-week time period from now until New Year's Day was insufficient to study the matter. Durbin wants to look at Medicare early in 2013 through the normal committee process.
* Not every Republican is on board for tax increases. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, told ABC News that "no Republican wants to vote for a rate tax increase." The fiscally conservative representative cited statistics from a commissioned study by the National Federation of Independent Business that said 700,000 more Americans would be out of work with tax increases on the wealthy.
* Hensarling then compared the president's tactics to the "Peanuts" comic strip in which Lucy pulls the ball away from Charlie Brown as he tries to kick a field goal. The Texan believes Obama should have said something about tax increases before the Nov. 6 election.
* CNN reveals both of Maine's Republican senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, backed tax increase proposals a week before Coburn and Corker. The women's caveat for the deal included protecting small business owners from further tax burdens when they claim business income as personal income.
* Slate.com notes Republicans may need to vote for tax increases if the party wants entitlement reform for things such as Medicare, Social Security and unemployment benefits. The idea is that if the GOP gives in to one issue on the fiscal cliff, Democrats will reciprocate for something Republicans want in return.
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics.
- Politics & Government
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- President Barack Obama
- Bob Corker
- Tom Coburn
- Dick Durbin