Maybe Representative Tom Cole should become Speaker Cole since he appears to have more common sense than John Boehner. Passing a freeze on Middle Class rates while increasing the top 2% through expiration would not necessarily be “passing a tax increase” and violating a Republican pledge to try to make time stand still.
Frozen in time and cast in concrete is how Republicans will want to be remembered.
“Thomas Jeffery Cole is the U.S. Representative for Oklahoma’s 4th congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is a Deputy Minority Whip.”
Maybe Congressman Cole can form a coalition of the willing. Maybe he can get himself promoted by Republicans committed to bipartisanship. What would be a good symbol for that?
I briefly explored the possibilities for a new Republican rebranding initiative. See the slideshow.
“House Republican Tom Cole urges GOP to take Obama deal
Posted by Aaron Blake on November 28, 2012 at 8:20 am
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Tuesday that Republicans in Congress should allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, arguing that it wouldn’t violate their pledge not to raise taxes.
Speaking at a private session, the former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman said his party should agree to tax cuts for income under $250,000 a year, avert the fiscal cliff and argue over tax cuts for the wealthy later.
“I think we ought to take the 98 percent deal right now,” he told Politico after the session. “It doesn’t mean I agree with raising the top 2. I don’t.”
After an hourlong meeting of House Republicans, Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said that he told Cole in front of the entire conference that his views were wrong. “I disagreed with him. … This is not the right approach,” Boehner told reporters. He said that the leadership team stuck by its position of raising tax revenue through closing loopholes, but not by increasing individual tax rates.
Cole had argued that Democrats have leverage because they can say that Republicans are holding up renewing the tax cuts for the 98 percent.
“Some people think that’s our leverage in the debate. It’s the Democrats’ leverage in the debate,” he said.
Cole also said that not voting to renew a tax cut shouldn’t be seen as violating a pledge not to raise taxes because it’s technically not a vote that raises taxes. Grover Norquist, the sponsor of the pledge, seemed to say the same thing in a 2011 interview with The Washington Post editorial board, but has since said that he was misquoted.
“I don’t see that as a violation of my pledge,” Cole said.
In an interview with Politico on Wednesday morning, Norquist dismissed Cole’s words as an attempt at negotiation, not intent. A handful of Republicans are “thinking about maybe voting for tax increases,” he said, but “only under these circumstance that would never happen.”
Raising taxes on household income over $250,000 remains a broadly popular approach to dealing with the country’s budgetary woes, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.