Incoming Republican House leaders told reporters this morning that House Democrats who are promising a vote on extending only the Bush tax cuts for middle class earners are rejecting the will of voters who cast ballots for a Republican-led House Nov. 2.
"I don't know what Speaker Pelosi didn't hear in this last election," Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), who chairs the GOP transition team, told reporters. "But she sure didn't hear the American people."
Walden accused Pelosi and other Democratic leaders of presenting their tax cut extension plan -- which would allow the Bush cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire, thus saving billions in deficit spending -- in a way that would deny Republicans a chance to amend it. Walden and other Republican leaders gathered at the press event said they represented a bipartisan majority in favor of extending all the cuts and they continued to say that they weren't interested in any plan that didn't do that.
"No tax increases for nobody," Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), incoming chair of the House Republican caucus, told reporters. "It's poor grammar, but it's great economics."
Walden and Hensarling were joined by incoming Republican Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA), Reps. Tom Price (R-GA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). All said that every Bush tax cut needed to be extended, not just those on the middle class.
Hensarling said that "uncertainty" about the cuts weeks before they all expire Jan. 1 has stifled economic growth and "led to unemployment." He called on Democrats to move to extend all the cuts quickly.
"In a lame duck session, a lame duck congress should not turn our economy into a dead duck economy," he said.
Asked by a reporter if Republicans were "willing to vote against tax cuts for the middle class" in order to continue pushing for the extension of all the cuts, Walden demurred, attacking the Democrats for promising to bring middle class-only cuts to the floor but not saying how he or other Republicans might vote.
Last night, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) told reporters that Democrats plan to bring their tax cut bill to the floor "this week."