GOP Rep. Cole: ‘Absolutely’ no new tax revenues in sequester replacement
By Justin Sink
02/10/13 10:51 AM ET
Deputy Majority Whip Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Sunday that House Republicans would “absolutely” not accept new revenues as part of a deal to avoid the $85 billion in automatic cuts to the federal budget set to take effect in three weeks.
“Absolutely not,” Cole said on ABC News's "This Week." “The president accepted no spending cuts back in the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal 45 days ago, so you get no spending cuts back then, then you’re going to get no revenue now.”
Cole went on to say that the sense among Republicans was that they now held the leverage in negotiations, and felt no inclination to again open the issue of new revenues. Democrats, including President Obama, have called for a "balanced" package that would replace the sequester with a combination of spending cuts and closing tax code loopholes and deductions.
"Politically, Democrats are exactly where Republicans were six weeks ago. taxes were going up by law… now these cuts are going to happen by law, and it's a law the president signed," Cole said.
Cole also said President Obama and Senate Democrats were responsible for proposing alternative spending cuts if they wanted to avoid the blunt across-the-board reductions.
"They haven't been able to pass anything, they haven't been able to propose anything," Cole said.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), also appearing on the show, warned sequestration would cause a retraction of the economy and the loss of 600,000 jobs.
“It’s going to do everything opposite from what your party says that they want,” Ellison said. “It’s going to increase unemployment, it’s going to increase uncertainty."
Stephanie Cutter, the deputy campaign manager for President Obama's re-election effort, also objected to Cole's assertion that the sequester was the president's idea. Cutter said the sequester was intended to compel a deal and never intended to actually go into place.
"This was an enforcement mechanism for Congress to ... finally come together to pass deficit reduction," Cutter said.
Cutter also hinted that President Obama would address the issue in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
"We can't have any more self-inflicted wounds on this economy," Cutter said.