House Republican whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., said in an editorial Monday that his party will resist any income tax increases in Congress, as the expiration of the Bush tax cuts looms at the end of the year.
The editorial, which appeared in The Wall Street Journal, was headlined Tax Fight: GOP Wont Back Down.
Republicans unequivocally oppose any impending tax increase, Cantor wrote. House Republicans have called on Speaker Pelosi to allow the House to vote on legislation that would freeze all tax rates for the next two years. It's a vote the taxpayers of this country deserve before November.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said last week that Republicans might if necessary be willing to accept that tax cuts be extended only for those making less than $250,000 a year, as the Obama administration insists. If the only option I have is to vote for those at $250,000 and below, of course Im going to do that, he told Bob Schieffer on CBSs Face the Nation. But Im going to do everything I can to fight to make sure that we extend the current tax rates for all Americans.
After Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs seized on the comments and said he welcomed John Boehners change in position, Boehner later backed away from the remarks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., then introduced a bill to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts, as well as restrict estate taxes and the Alternative Minimum Tax (see GOP Unites Against Bush Tax Cuts).
In his editorial, Cantor reiterated Republicans opposition to allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for even those in the upper income brackets.
Lest there be any doubt why we are so determined to fightinstead of going quietly and giving President Obama his way before Congress bolts for the electionsthe GOP has two primary motivations, he wrote. The first concerns the pain that tax increases threaten to inflict on our economy over the short term. The second is to stop the slide under our current leadership towards becoming a stagnant European-style welfare state with limited individual opportunity and entrepreneurship.
Cantor argued that the expiration of the tax cuts would hurt small businesses. Roughly half of all small-business income in America will face a higher rate, making this tax increase a direct assault on job creation and innovation, he wrote. Coming from an administration heavy on officials with no business experience, this is a clear signal that the White House is determined to continue to spend recklessly and expand the entitlement net. That's why we're not backing down.
The White House responded Monday to Cantors editorial, with deputy communications director Jen Psaki, writing on the White House blog, If Eric Cantor was really focused on small businesses, he would push his Republican colleagues in the House to support the Small Business Jobs Bill that would give eight new tax cuts to small businesses. The bill that finally passed the Senate last week would give essential assistance to small businesses and the president is looking forward to signing it into law as soon as the House passes it.
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