Lieberman Embraces GOP Position On Tax Cuts


Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is backing the GOP position on the Bush tax cuts.

After a press conference last week where he pressed his colleagues to back the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Lieberman called the GOP’s position — a temporary extension of all the cuts — the best plan he’s heard yet.

“I continue to believe that this is a bad time to raise anybody’s taxes and therefore the best suggestion I’ve heard, which I think could get bipartisan support, is to extend all the tax cuts for one or two years,” Lieberman said.Prior to the election, Lieberman toyed with the idea of convening a group of senators to reach a tax cut compromise. He’s put those plans aside for the moment, to let party leaders work it out.

“I think what I decided at least for the lame duck is that this is going to happen at a pay grade higher than mine,” he said.

Now, before the lame duck session, Lieberman distinguished himself from the GOP by saying he had no interest in blocking middle-income tax cuts to force the Democrats’ hand on tax cuts for upper income Americans. But the plan he’s embracing — a temporary extension of all cuts — is as far as the GOP is willing to go, and basically punts this political fight a year or two into the future, when presidential politics will further complicate it.


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