Durbin: GOP Tax Cut Stubbornness Could Cripple Obama’s Fiscal Commission

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One of the more progressive members of President Obama’s fiscal commission acknowledged last night that the panel may find itself gridlocked if Republicans refuse to budge and agree to propose increasing tax revenue.

In a brief interview in the Senate press gallery, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin summed it up this way: “Any honest appraisal of our job and how we do it requires raising tax revenue, and reducing spending. If you don’t do those two things, you can’t reach your goal.”As we reported Monday, Republicans on the commission are actually seeking ways to reduce tax revenue, using their positions to advocate for corporate tax cuts — even though the panel’s task is to raise revenue and cut spending in ways that reduce deficits. TPMDC asked Durbin whether the GOP’s intransigence could lead to gridlock.

It’s definitely possible.

“That could be the outcome, but I hope not, and I hope we can get 18 [members] to agree. But we have to start with ideas and November is when we finally, after all this preparation, will sit in the room and try to hammer out an agreement, and I think Bowles and Simpson are two good people.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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